Northern Water Snake

Nerodia sipedon

The northern water snake is a species of large, nonvenomous, common snake in the family Colubridae. The species is native to North America.
Northern Water Snake - Nerodia sipedon  Geotagged,Nerodia,Nerodia sipedon,Northern Water Snake,Northern water snake,Summer,United States,snake

Appearance

The northern water snake can grow up to 135 cm in total length Per one study, average total length of females was 81.4 cm while that of males was 69.6 cm. Per known studies of this species in the wild, adult females can weigh between 158.9 and 408 g in average body mass while the smaller male can average from 80.8 to 151 g. The largest females can weigh up to 560 g while the largest males can scale 370 g .

''N. sipedon'' can be brown, gray, reddish, or brownish-black. It has dark crossbands on the neck and dark blotches on the rest of the body, often leading to misidentification as a cottonmouth or copperhead by novices. As ''N. sipedon'' ages, the color darkens, and the pattern becomes obscure. Some individuals will become almost completely black. The belly also varies in color. It can be white, yellow, or gray. Usually it also has reddish or black crescents.

The northern water snake is nonvenomous and harmless to humans, but superficially resembles the venomous cottonmouth and is often killed unnecessarily as a result of this mistaken identity. The two can be easily distinguished by morphological traits: the water snake has a longer, more slender body and a flattened head the same width as the neck, round pupils, and no heat-sensing pits. The cottonmouth has a fatter body, a wedge-shaped head with prominent venom glands that is wider than the neck, cat-like pupils, and heat-sensing pits between the eyes and the nostrils.

Colubrid snakes also have flat scales upon their heads, while vipers all possess smaller, rugose scutes.
Northern Water Snake This snake was 3-4 feet long. Its dorsum was strongly keeled and was a dark grayish color. It had a pattern of reddish brown bands on its venter.

This snake is currently secure in Connecticut, but many are killed each year as they are mistaken for venomous snakes.  Geotagged,Nerodia sipedon,Northern Water Snake,Northern water snake,Summer,United States,snake

Naming

Common names for ''Nerodia sipedon'' include banded water snake, black water adder, black water snake, brown water snake, common water snake, common northern water snake, eastern water snake, North American water snake, northern banded water snake, northern water snake, spotted water snake, streaked snake, water pilot and water snake.The following four subspecies are recognized as being valid.
⤷ ''Nerodia sipedon insularum'' – Lake Erie water snake
⤷ ''Nerodia sipedon pleuralis'' – midland water snake
⤷ ''Nerodia sipedon sipedon'' – northern water snake
⤷ ''Nerodia sipedon williamengelsi'' – Carolina water snake
Northern Water Snake - Nerodia sipedon This snake was so sweet and friendly, which I find to be pretty normal for this species. I spotted it basking in the sun on the side of a pond. I sat in the grass near it until it got comfortable enough with me to slither closer so it could check me out, thus enabling me to get this shot.

Its dorsum was strongly keeled and was a dark grayish color. It had a pattern of reddish brown bands on its venter.

This snake is currently secure in Connecticut, but many are killed each year as they are mistaken for venomous snakes.
 Geotagged,Nerodia sipedon,Northern water snake,Summer,United States,nerodia,northern water snake,snake

Status

The Lake Erie water snake subspecies, which occurs mainly on the lake's western islands offshore from Ohio and Ontario, recovered to the point where on August 16, 2011 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed it from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. The subspecies was first listed as threatened in 1999 after a decline due to eradication by humans, as well as habitat loss and degradation. When initially listed, the subspecies’ population had dropped to only 1,500 adults. Endangered Species Act protections for the snake included designation of 300 acres of inland habitat and 11 miles of shoreline for breeding grounds. The introduction of an invasive species, the Eurasian round goby into Lake Erie in the mid-1990s became a new food source for the Lake Erie water snake. By 2009, the population recovered to 11,980 snakes, safely exceeding the population minimum goal of 5,555 adult snakes required by the 2003 recovery plan. Monitoring will occur for 5 years following this delisting. The Lake Erie water snake is just the 23rd species or subspecies to be removed from the list due to recovery.
Northern Water Snake - Nerodia sipedon This snake was pretty small and had a great hiding spot on a log amidst the reeds on the edge of a pond.

Habitat: Pond Geotagged,Nerodia,Nerodia sipedon,Northern Water Snake,Spring,United States,snake,water snake

Behavior

''N. sipedon'' is active during the day and at night. It is most often seen basking on rocks, stumps, or brush. During the day, it hunts among plants at the water's edge, looking for small fish, frogs, worms, leeches, crayfish, salamanders, small birds and mammals. At night, it concentrates on minnows and other small fish sleeping in shallow water. It hunts using smell, and sight. The Lake Erie water snake subspecies, ''Nerodia sipedon insularum'', was once endangered, but now benefits from the introduction of the round goby, an invasive species, which now comprises up to 90% of its diet.

The northern water snake is extremely common over most of its range and is frequently seen basking on stream banks, from which it dives into the water at the slightest disturbance. It is quick to flee from danger, but if cornered or captured, it usually will not hesitate to defend itself. Large specimens can inflict a painful bite.
Northern Water Snake - Nerodia sipedon I love these snakes!

Habitat: Reeds on the edge of a pond Geotagged,Nerodia sipedon,Northern Water Snake,Summer,United States,nerodia,snake,water snake

Habitat

Muskrat houses and beaver lodges are good places to find the northern water snake, which likes to hide among the sticks and plant stems. ''N. sipedon'' lives near lakes, ponds, marshes, rivers, and canals; just about anywhere there is freshwater.
Northern Water Snake - Nerodia sipedon This snake thought for sure that it had the perfect hiding spot! I spotted it basking in the sun on the side of a pond. When it saw me, it slithered over to the edge of the water so that it could both hide from and watch me.

Its dorsum was strongly keeled and was a dark grayish color. It had a pattern of reddish brown bands on its venter.

This snake is currently secure in Connecticut, but many are killed each year as they are mistaken for venomous snakes.

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61934/northern_water_snake_-_nerodia_sipedon.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61935/northern_water_snake_-_nerodia_sipedon.html Geotagged,Nerodia sipedon,Northern water snake,Summer,United States,snake,water snake

Reproduction

The northern water snake mates from April through June. It is ovoviviparous , which means it does not lay eggs like many other snakes. Instead, the mother carries the eggs inside her body and gives birth to free living young, each one 19–23 cm long. A female may have as many as thirty young at a time, but the average is eight. They are born between August and October. Mothers do not care for their young; as soon as they are born, they are on their own.
Northern Water Snake - Nerodia sipedon This snake thought for sure that it had the perfect hiding spot! I spotted it basking in the sun on the side of a pond. When it saw me, it slithered over to the edge of the water so that it could both hide from and watch me.

 Its dorsum was strongly keeled and was a dark grayish color. It had a pattern of reddish brown bands on its venter.

This snake is currently secure in Connecticut, but many are killed each year as they are mistaken for venomous snakes.

https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61935/northern_water_snake_-_nerodia_sipedon.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61933/northern_water_snake_-_nerodia_sipedon.html Geotagged,Nerodia sipedon,Northern Water Snake,Northern water snake,Summer,United States,nerodia,snake,water snake

Predators

''N. sipedon'' has many predators, including birds, raccoons, opossums, foxes, snapping turtles, other snakes, and people. The northern water snake defends itself vigorously when threatened. If picked up by an animal, or person, it will bite repeatedly, as well as release excrement and musk. Its saliva contains a mild anticoagulant, which can cause the bite to bleed more but poses little risk to humans.
Northern Water Snake - Nerodia sipedon This beauty was relaxing in the sun along the edge of a small pond.

Habitat: Pond's edge
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/93656/northern_water_snake_-_nerodia_sipedon.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/93655/northern_water_snake_-_nerodia_sipedon.html Geotagged,Nerodia,Nerodia sipedon,Northern Water Snake,Spring,United States,snake

Defense

''N. sipedon'' has many predators, including birds, raccoons, opossums, foxes, snapping turtles, other snakes, and people. The northern water snake defends itself vigorously when threatened. If picked up by an animal, or person, it will bite repeatedly, as well as release excrement and musk. Its saliva contains a mild anticoagulant, which can cause the bite to bleed more but poses little risk to humans.

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Status: Least concern
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassReptilia
OrderSquamata
FamilyColubridae
GenusNerodia
SpeciesN. sipedon