Though Floridensis is mostly focused on Floridian wildlife and habitats, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel and live in various regions of North America — from the tangles of Florida all the way up to the mountainous cacophonies of Alaska. From time to time, I like to throw in a non-Florida post to spice things up. More than anything, however, I think focus and understanding of Florida is enhanced through various contrasts with other aspects of North America. In this case, our focal contrast here deals with the non-venomous watersnake species, Nerodia erythrogaster.
In the American southeast, the dominant subspecies of Nerodia erythrogaster is N. e. erythrogaster, the Redbelly watersnake. Out west, in the American midwest, the dominant subspecies is N. e. transversa, the Blotched watersnake — the snake featured here.
I lived in Norman, Oklahoma, for a few years as a kid and eventually returned to the region to attend the University of Oklahoma. Though I didn’t really connect much with Oklahoma culture, I sure did adore its biodiversity. I still do. I’m itching to return to snag more time with Okie wildlife. As for this species, the Blotched watersnake remains one of my favorites in Oklahoma — along with Nerodia rhombifer, the Diamondback watersnake (another species we do not have in Florida). The Blotched watersnake is a cute, relatively mild-mannered species.
In our next post, we’ll swing back east –to southern Georgia– and check out the Redbelly subspecies closer to home.