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Readers Write In: An Aquatic Snake Identification Challenge


Attached is a shaky photo of a snake I made while creek fishing on Harbuck Creek in Clay County, Alabama. See if your readers can ID this reptile.

Fletcher S.


  Fletcher’s wording in his e-mail tipped me off that something was afoot and after an intensive interrogation he admitted he did actually know what kind of snake he had seen and photographed.

  That said, we agreed that examining this photograph would be a useful exercise for people that have trouble distinguishing between the different kinds of snakes that can be found in the wetlands of the southeastern United States. This photo may be particularly helpful for learning how to tell whether a swimming snake is a venomous Cottonmouth or a harmless watersnake. Reading your comments about how to distinguish these snakes is sure to be educational for anybody lurking and reading the blog.

  So, let’s have it readers. What is this snake and how could you tell? If you are completely stumped, check out this past post for some clues.