About the Water Moccasin
The water moccasin is a somewhat common snake, and America’s only venomous water snake. It also goes by the name cottonmouth and is a type of pit viper, with a dangerous bite if it so happens to get to you. If you are ever around one of these, it is important you understand them. You want to know about them to keep yourself safe and to understand what makes them, them. Whether it is out of curiosity or because of necessity, this is valuable information to have. Though they are not a dangerous type of snake, when it comes to likelihood of them actually biting, you still want to know as much about them as possible.
Water moccasins are long, blackish snakes. They are a dark color across the majority of their body, with some white around their mouth. That white is what gives them the name cottonmouth. These snakes can grow, at most, about 6 feet. They are thick, as well. They remain a large and fearsome snake, even down to how they look.
Every few years, during spring, water moccasins will mate and give birth. Gestation takes a few months and the mother births a little of live snakes. The live snakes incubated in eggs inside of the mother, instead of having the mother lay the eggs directly, like many other types of snakes do. Parents do not care for their young, as is common for snakes. Once they are born, they do as they please.
Though their bite is dangerous, water moccasins rarely attack humans. Unless they feel there is a threat to their life, they are going to prefer distance over attack. This does not mean they run away. Water moccasins will stand their ground if humans are around, so make sure to keep your distance from them.
As they are semi-aquatic, you can find these snakes near bodies of water. Swamps, lakes, streams, and other aquatic locations are perfect for them. They prefer to be near water, living largely in branches and hanging around on the edge of water.
The diet of the water moccasin is primarily fish, rodents, birds, eggs, and other small prey. They use their venom to capture and kill, and then consume, the prey. Water moccasins may come with risks, but they largely want to stay by themselves. They prefer to hang out on branches and around water rather than dealing with humans. Go back to the home page: Snakes of Austin