northern water snake

(Nerodia sipedon)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

 

No Image Available

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S4 - Apparently Secure

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

 

Habitat

Ponds, lakes, marshes, streams, and river backwaters.

Lifespan

Up to 9.6 years

Size

24 to 55

 

Identification

The belly is cream colored and is irregularly covered with reddish, half-moon shaped marks.

 
Similar
Species

Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) tail ends in a small, dark-colored rattle.


Food

Fish, mammals, frogs, toads, salamanders, crayfish, worms, young snakes, young turtles, and insects.

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

They can often be seen basking on tree branches or shrubs on shores and banks of rivers and streams.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 11, 14, 29, 72, 74.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Squamata (amphisbaenians, lizards, and snakes)

 

Infraorder:

Serpentes (snakes)

 

Superfamily:

Colubroidea

 

Family:

Colubridae (colubrids, typical snakes)

 

Subfamily:

Natricinae

 
Subordinate Taxa

Carolina water snake (Nerodia sipedon williamengelsi)

Lake Erie water snake (Nerodia sipedon insularum)

midland water snake (Nerodia sipedon pleuralis)

northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon sipedon)

 
Synonyms

Natrix sipedon

Coluber sipedon

 
Common
Names

northern water snake


 

 

 

 

 

 

       

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  Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon)
Bill Keim
 
  Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon)  

 

slideshow

     

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Other Videos

 
  Northern Water Snake - Nerodia sipedon sipedon - Hamilton County, Ohio, USA - May 27, 2013
William Hull
 
   
 
About

Published on May 29, 2013

Northern Water Snake eating what appears to be a Stonecat Madtom.

 
     
  Venom H.L. Non Venomous, Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon sipedon)
VenomHerpLair
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 28, 2013

 
     
  Venom H.L. Non Venomous, Northern Water snake (Nerodia sipedon sipedon) In HD
VenomHerpLair
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 24, 2013

 
     
  Northern Water Snake
nwwmark
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 23, 2009

The Northern Water Snake is certainly one of the most enigmatic ambush predators to be found. They live in an aquatic world of ponds, bogs, marshes and also brooks if the water is slow moving. They wait in an ambush position within these bodies of water searching for their prey which consists of a wide variety of animals including, frogs, salamanders, juvenile turtles and amazingly they even catch fish! They can grow to be a large bulky snake with some reaching well over 50 inches in length and being easily as thick as an adults arm! When threatened, they much prefer to bolt into the cover of the water but if cornered, to defend themselves they will lash out viciously biting and wriggling there strong bodies. When they are picked up they will secret a fowl smelling pungent odor and urinate all in an attempt to return to the safety of the water they call home. They are a beautiful snake and when young, have amazing markings and colorations. As they get older, they get darker in color and eventually nearly all black. I grew up catching and releasing these snakes as a child and have always thought of them fondly. Like all wild species, they require habitat to remain healthy and allow future generations to enjoy the wonder of the Northern Water Snake! I'm Mark Fraser see me at http://www.naturewalkswithmark.org, and thank you for helping to protect the natural world!

Did you know?

Northern Water Snakes can grow as long as 53 inches!

They often catch fish! Awesome!

As reptiles, they must bask in sunlight to regulate their body temperature.

They are sometimes eaten by predators such as: raccoons, fox and birds of prey, which is why they have learned to thrash wildly to escape when held.

 
     
  60-Second Snakes: The Northern Water Snake
MichiganDNR
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 24, 2015

The Michigan DNR’s 60-Second Snakes video series talks about identification tips and information about Michigan’s snake species. This episode features the northern water snake. Learn more about the northern water snake: http://bit.ly/northernwatersnake. A special thanks to Nature Discovery (http://bit.ly/1IcfFlb) for the opportunity to film their live educational snake specimens.

 
     

 

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