Nerodia sipedon sipedon

Common Names: Northern water snake
Category: Reptiles
Sub-category: Snakes

These non-poisonous snakes are commonly mistaken for the deadly copperhead snake. Copperheads have a different patterning and different shaped heads. The northern water snake can grow up to 4.4 feet in total length. They can be brown, gray, reddish, or brownish-black. They have dark crossbands on their necks and dark stripes and blotches on the rest of their bodies. They darken as they age. Some will become almost completely black. The belly of this snake also varies in color. It can be white, yellow, or gray. Usually it also has reddish or black crescents.

Found near freshwater, during the day, they hunt among plants at the water's edge. They are most often seen basking on rocks, stumps, or brush.

Edible Notes: No available information on edibility.
Warnings: They defend themselves vigorously when they are threatened. If they are picked up by an animal, or person, they will bite repeatedly, as well as release excrement and musk. Their saliva contains a mild anticoagulant, which can cause the bite to bleed more but poses little risk to humans. Like all reptiles, they carry a risk of Salmonella on their skin.