This is a young and rowdy Florida banded watersnake, Nerodia fasciata pictiventris, photographed in Nassau county, northeastern Florida, back in April of 2016. Arguably, this may be an intergrade or a full-tilt Southern banded watersnake, Nerodia fasciata fasciata. Honestly, I don’t see too much distinction between the two subspecies throughout much of northern Florida and southern Georgia. Regardless, this is most certainly a non-venomous species — though they are often confused as being venomous cottonmouths. Florida’s banded watersnakes are wildly variable in coloration and patterning, but they are always predictably adorable at this age (especially when they chomp down on your thumb). If I had to pick an arbitrary “favorite species,” this would probably be it. I adore these watersnakes.