Plain reddish-brown, brown, greenish, or gray, becoming lighter on sides. Some populations have dark-bordered light crossbars down back. Belly plain red, orange, or yellow, but occasionally belly scales have dark edges. Juveniles have vivid dark blotches down back, alternating with dark crossbars on sides. Scales keeled, in 23-27 rows. Anal plate usually divided. The Copper-bellied Water Snake, a subspecies of the Plain-bellied Water Snake, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as threatened in areas of Michigan and Ohio north of 40 degrees N latitude.
Ten Facts about Plain-bellied Water Snake
- They can be 30-62" (76.2-157.5 cm) long.
- This species ranges through much of the southeastern United States, from Michigan to Delaware in the north, and Texas to northern Florida in the south.
- They are almost always found near a permanent water source, a lake, stream, pond or other slow moving body.
- It is quick to vigorously defend itself by biting repeatedly and its mouth has a white interior, resulting in it being misidentified frequently as the venomous cottonmouth.
- The Plain-bellied water snake breeds from April to June, and batches of 5-27 young are born in August to October.
- Active in the early evening, Plain-bellies are often seen crossing roads on warm rainy or humid nights.
- They have been observed to anchor themselves in the vegetation and fish with the mouth opened to the current, grabbing any small fish that happens by.
- Plain-dellid Water snake have many predators, including birds, raccoons, opossums, foxes, snapping turtles, and other snakes.
- Its prey, primarily small lizards, salamanders, frogs, snakes, and insects.
- Attain sexual maturity at the age of 2-3 years.