The Brown Watersnake, 10 November 2018

Nerodia taxispilota, the Brown watersnake;
Miami-Dade county, Florida (10 November 2018).

When it comes to peninsula Florida’s three most-dominant inland watersnake species, I was three-for-three on this one particular night in Miami-Dade county. In addition to the Florida banded watersnakes (Nerodia fasciata pictiventris) and Florida green watersnakes (Nerodia floridana) we’ve already seen in this series, I also came across a couple of healthy Brown watersnakes (Nerodia taxispilota). I’m always happy to see a Brown watersnake.

Entirely non-venomous, the Brown watersnake is sadly often confused as being a venomous Florida cottonmouth (Agkistrodon conanti). It is also prone to basking in foliage hanging over bodies of water (which cottonmouths don’t generally do), so when you hear stories of snakes falling into canoes and kayaks, there’s a decent chance it was a Brown watersnake. Though this has yet to happen to me personally, I hold on to hope. I can think of nothing better than being rained on by half a dozen Brown watersnakes.

As for this little skipper, it was another nocturnal road-cruiser basking in the relative warmth of the mid-November roadway. After a few quick shots, this sub-adult Brown watersnake quickly retreated back into the adjacent brush — a little farther away from the threat of automative impact.

One Comment on “The Brown Watersnake, 10 November 2018

  1. You’re crazy about wanting snakes in your boat. Like Indy Jones, I’m scared of snakes, but I do find them fascinating and beautiful from a safe distance, such as through my monitor. Someday I’d like to go snake-xploring with you in Florida, as long as you handle the snakes. For now I enjoy your posts.


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