Monday, August 10, 2015

Readers Write In: Are These Watersnakes, Cottonmouths, or Something Else?


    Good afternoon, I'm an amateur photographer; most of my online photos are posted at CNN iReport under "Borgy62".

    I'm visiting my brother here in SC; and yesterday we went kayaking on Lake Jocassee, Salem, SC.  During our boating trip we came across these two snakes, both neat the shoreline. The larger (adult) snake was about 36".  The smaller (juvenile) snake, I estimate was 15" to 18".  Are they Brown or Banded Water Snakes, or something else?


Hank  B. :)
Salem, South Carolina

Found this young snake - think it's a cottonmouth, but not sure.

Port St. Lucie, Florida

Readers: What Are These Snakes?

Snake Identification Post Ground Rules

-Guesses are welcome and encouraged. Don't worry if you're not an expert, wrong guesses allow us to talk about how to distinguish between the various species and that's why I run these posts.

-If you can't explain why you think a snake is a particular species, go ahead and just say what you think it is. But otherwise please do let us all know how you identified the animal. If you're wrong, we can explain why. If you're right, this helps everyone learn how to identify snakes, which is the goal of these posts.

-You can safely assume that I know what kind of snake is in the picture, I run these posts because they are outreach opportunities. Please don't send me private e-mails with your guesses, include them below.

-Remember, the person that sent me the picture is probably reading your comments. Although it is frustrating to know that many of these snakes have been killed, these people do want to learn more about them. More snake knowledge will lead to fewer snakes being killed. Don't hate, educate.

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