Nerodia fasciata pictiventris, the Florida banded watersnake;
Volusia county, Florida (30 April 2020).
If you’ve ever been told that venomous cottonmouths swim at the surface of water while non-venomous watersnakes swim under the water, well, that’s not always the case. Pictured here is a non-venomous Florida banded watersnake swimming very much at the surface of water. Though cottonmouth do tend to stay closer to the surface while waternakes are often quicker to dive under, both types of snakes can swim both at and below the surface of water. Another gentle reminder that life tends to be a bit more nuanced and complicated than tweet-sized adages and short guideline descriptions!