|Common name: Eastern Cottonmouth Water Moccasin|
Species name: Agkistrodon p. piscivorus,
Description: these snakes are an average length of around 30 inches, but specimens of the Western in excess of 54 inches have been captured by the author. Easterns have been measured at above 6 feet but are rare. Cottonmouths can be aggressive. Unlike their Copperhead cousins, they will often stand their ground. Their venom is stronger and they tend to be larger snakes, making them very dangerous.
Distribution: predominant subspecies found in South Carolina.
Habitat: They favor lying dormant on logs, rocks or limbs at water's edge awaiting the telltale movement of approaching prey. It is characterized by a brown, olive or blackish dark body with lighter belly, and body crossbands which have a distinct border extending all the way around and across the yellowish stomach.
Foods: The diet consists mainly of fish and frogs, but is otherwise highly varied and, uniquely, has even been reported to include carrion