Nerodia fasciata


Adults average 24-41 inches; the record is 60 inches.  May have black, brown or red crossbands across back, usually bordered with black.  In the older snakes these crossbands may not be a pronounced as the snake darkens with age. Background color may be gray, yellow, tan or reddish.    “Belly is light colored with squarish spots.  Scales are keeled and there are 21-25 dorsal scale rows at midbody. The pupil is round.  A dark stripe extends from the eye to the angle of the jaw.  Juveniles have very clear crossbands (usually black) on pale background.” (Source:  Florida Museum of Natural History, UFL.)

Range:  In Florida, the Panhandle, extending up the coastal plain to North Carolina and west to southwestern Alabama.

Habitat:  Nearly all freshwater habitats, including ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, and marshes.

Though not venomous, “when threatened, the Banded Water Snake will readily bite and exude a foul smelling musk.”

“Active mainly a night, but may be found during the day sunning on banks or vegetation hanging over the water.”

Food: fishes, frogs, salamanders, crayfish and tadpoles.

Mating:  Spring.

Birthing:  bears live young, around 7.5-9.5 inches long in summer.