Nerodia rhombifer, the Diamondback watersnake;
Cleveland county, Oklahoma (07 July 2007).
Though they don’t range southeast to the Florida peninsula, I truly do adore this big beefcake of a snake. This is the Diamondback watersnake, a non-venomous species quite common from my time in central Oklahoma. Of all the watersnakes I’ve worked with, N. rhombifer is easily the largest, strongest, and most attitudinal (to put it mildly). Though they are not aggressive in the slightest, they can be very, very defensive — and they can pack quite the punch. I’ve had many positively wild encounters with this species over the years.