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Snake Identification Challenge of the Week: They Came From the Depths…

We have a place on Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri (near Jefferson City).  This is a baby, part of a snake family that has lived under our boat ramp for some time.

I’m not particularly bothered, but my wife is beside herself.  And we have small children and pets around.

They do not seem to go on land, although they will spend time in drain tiles in the sea wall, on the rip rap near the shore or in a stack of logs by the water… depending how high the lake is.

I’m going to dry and get a better photo, but hopefully you can tell what we have from this.

Don M.

I live in eastern North Carolina and someone killed this snake. Can you help me identify it.  Thanks.

North Carolina

Hi I have this snake living in my pond I like in the Austin Texas region. It’s about 4 ft long I was wondering if it is a cotton mouth I have included pic and video 

Heather D.

Hello, I was walking with my daughter near a reservoir, and we saw two of these snakes near the water. Can you help identify them? We recently moved from NYC, so we are amazed by any and all wildlife and want to educate ourselves. We saw the snakes in West Orange, NJ.

Thank you,

Pamela C.
New Jersey

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 point of these posts.

-This is not a pop quiz, any kind of research is encouraged and I hope you will engage with other commenters to try to figure these snakes out. I will eventually chime in with my thoughts.

-Assume 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.