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Florida Water Snake

Brown Water Snake

12.08.2007 - Here is a fine specimen of a Brown Water Snake, (Nerodia taxispilota). This snake is supposedly common in some areas, but I've found only a few during my time as a nuisance wildlife trapper here in Orlando Florida. This snake is, like pretty much all aquatic snakes, heavy-bodied in comparison to most snakes. Part of the reason for the body shape is because of the buoyancy needed for waterbound critters. I'm surprised that these snakes don't have any sort of a paddle-tail, but they don't. They swim just fine, moving along the surface of the water via peristaltic undulation.

I've read that this snake can reach six feet in length, but I doubt that. I suspect that this snake is above two standard deviations from the mean size for this species. When I say mean, I of course mean (intend) average, not mean-spirited. It's not a mean-spirited snake at all. In fact, I don't believe that this snake possesses a spirit at all. This is in contrast to the Water Moccasin, or Cottonmouth, which does have a spirit, an evil venom injecting one.

The Brown Water Snake is often mistaken for the venomous Cottonmouth, which is too bad, because it means unfair persecution. But then again, pretty much all snakes are subject to unfair persecution. But when you look very similar to one of the nastiest, bitey, snakes in the lake, you're bound to receive a little more prejudice than the average serpent. Luckily for this fellow that I'm holding, I'm informed. I know that he's totally harmless, and that's why you see me holding him with such an air of calm nonchalance. So take a good look at the above snake, and if you see one just like it during your next skinny dip in a Florida swamp, fear not. Give it a gentle pat on the back and send it on its merry way. Then look out for alligators and Cottonmouth.

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