Cotton Mouth……aka….. The Water Moccasin
The Water moccasin is a very venomous snake, in other words, they are poisonous. Sadly, harmless snakes are often killed out of fear for the safety of family and pets. But, all snakes bite, so even if they are not venomous it can still hurt. So, how can you tell if its a Moccasin? Lets look at some of their features.
Water Moccasins have bodies that are very thick and heavy for the length and short thick tails. Their heads are blocky with a thinner neck. Adults are very dark, almost black. A young water moccasin appears brightly colored with red-brown bands that extend across its back and down its sides without crossing the belly, set against a brown body color. If you look at the snake’s head when it’s flat on the ground or from above it, you can’t see its eyes. Large, plate like scales cover the top of the head, and pits (holes) right between the nostril and the eye helps scene heat from other animals for food.
Water moccasins are present as three species. Living across Florida, the Florida Moccasin has a native range that includes the upper Florida Keys and parts of extreme southeastern Georgia. The eastern moccasin ranges from the Carolinas and Georgia to southeastern Virginia. The western moccasin has the largest range in that it lives in eastern Texas, Oklahoma, eastern Cherokee County in Kansas, Louisiana, Arkansas, southern Missouri, western Tennessee and even the extreme southern regions of Indiana and Illinois, as well as Mississippi, western Kentucky and Alabama.
So, no matter where you are at, always be aware of what is around you.