Cottonmouth, Don't touch

Cottonmouth, Don’t Touch

I don’t think we have ever gone through the Four Hole Swamp without seeing a Cottonmouth. Another reason to use a wooden walk through the wet areas.

This is one of the world’s few semiaquatic vipers (along with the Florida cottonmouth), and is native to the southeastern United States. As an adult, it is large (3+ feet) and capable of delivering a painful and potentially fatal bite. It tends to be found in or near water, particularly in swamps, and marshes. It is a good swimmer and, like several species of snakes, is known to enter bays and estuaries and swim between barrier islands and the mainland.

Cottonmouth, Don't touch
Cottonmouth, Don’t touch

Below you will see a Damselfly sitting on the snakes back. Ellen published a different angle on PassingByPhoto.

Cottonmouth, Don't touch
Cottonmouth, Don’t touch

Below is a good view and easy way to ID a toxic viper. Their heads have a triangular shape that allows for large fangs to be pulled inside their mouth.

Several other snakes resemble the Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin). Banded Water Snakes look very similar and are harmless. The head shape is straight since there are no poisonous fangs.

Cottonmouth, Don't touch
Cottonmouth, Don’t touch

This snake will often stand its ground and gape at an intruder, exposing the white lining of its mouth and fangs when threatened. The key word here is ‘threatened’ because like all wild animals they will always try leave or hide first.

 

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