Northern Water Snake

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Is the Northern Water Snake right for you?

Species group:

Scientific name: Natrix sipedon sipedon / Nerodia sipedon sp.

The basics:
The Northern Water Snake is native to North America and found all over the United States, up to the Great Lakes and southeast Canada. They are seen in the southeast coast down to Florida, and across the continent to Colorado. The natural homes of these aquatic snakes include all types of water habitats, where they are found hiding in beaver lodges or among plants and debris along the water edge. They are also sometimes seen foraging on nearby land among brush, tree stumps, and urban backyards.

Appearance / health:
Northern Water Snakes are relatively large and stout, maturing to about 4 feet in length. Base body colors include shades of gray, brown, red, and black. The most common markings are reddish brown to black broad bands near the head (on the back and sides). The bands become blotches toward the tail. As the snake ages, the color darkens and the markings tend to blend in, giving the body one solid color. The belly is creamy white with dark crescent markings. The scales are heavily keeled.

Behavior / temperament:
Northern Water Snakes hunt at night and in the daytime. They swim through all levels of water and forage along the water’s edge. When threatened, they flee, but when confronted, they strike. When handled, they typically release a foul smelling musk.

The aquatic Northern Water Snake feeds on small fish, salamander, frogs, toads, baby turtles and snakes, crayfish, insects, leeches, birds, and even small mammals.

Northern Water Snakes mate in from April to June and give birth to about 30 live young sometime from August to October.


awesome pet snakes, placid demeanor, captive born snake, Beautiful Snake


elaborate tank, raw fish fillets, lifestyle needs, captivity, poor temperament, escape attempts


dry clean cage, frequent eaters, pine bark bedding, display cabinets, small feeder fish

Northern Water Snake Health Tip

Northern Water Snake

From KKHerps Apr 13 2010 10:52PM


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