Water Snake Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a Water Snake?
Water snakes are a vast group of semi-aquatic snakes. They are mostly harmless, and non-venomous. They have a vast family with nearly 200 species from 38 genera, including northern water snake or common water snake, Florida banded water snake, and more.
What class of animal does a Water Snake belong to?
They belong to the Reptilia class of the Animalia kingdom.
How many Water Snakes are there in the world?
According to the International Union For Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, there is a stable population of more than 10,00,000 northern water snakes on Earth. However, due to their vastly distributed population, the total number of their group is uncounted.
Where does a Water Snake live?
Water snakes are mostly found across Eastern, and Central North America. Most species of the Nerodia genus live in Southern Canada, Southern Ontario, Eastern United States, and Mexico. Eurasian water snakes are found throughout Europe and Western Asia. Yellow-bellied water snakes are native to the Gulf Coast. A few species, including the Asiatic water snakes, live throughout Southern China, Indonesia, and parts of Southeast Asia.
What is a Water Snake's habitat?
They live in aquatic habitats like rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, and marshes. They are semi-aquatic. They often come out to forests or grasslands near water bodies to bask under the sun. However, in any case, they don't stay outside of the water for too long.
Who do Water Snakes live with?
Water snakes are solitary reptiles. However, they prepare communal dens to live together during the winter. They gather in groups and reside in these dens during their hibernation period.
How long does a Water Snake live?
Their lifespan depends on their diet, environment, and species. Most of the species, including northern water snakes, and banded water snakes live up to nine years in captivity. However, their lifespan in the wild is still uncertain.
How do they reproduce?
Water Snakes are ovoviviparous. They produce offsprings every two or three years. Most species including northern water snakes indulge in a polygynous mating system, allowing the males to mate with two or more females in their lifetime. The breeding season depends on their species. In most cases, it takes place in spring. The breeding season of northern water snakes starts from mid-April.
Their gestation period ranges between three and five months. The females give birth in early autumn. The number of snakelets produced varies from species to species. The banded water snake can give birth to up to 50 snakelets and a northern water snake can give birth to up to 99 snakelets. The snakelets are around 8-10 in (20.3-25.4 cm) in length. Water snakes gain sexual maturity at the age of two or three.
What is their conservation status?
Most of their species, including common water snake or northern water snake and banded water snake, are listed as Least Concern species by the International Union For Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. However, the copperbelly water snake species is listed as a Vulnerable species, due to loss of habitat.
Water Snake Fun Facts
What do Water Snakes look like?
The aesthetics of water snakes depends upon their species. Water snakes have keeled dorsal scales, and a flat head with a pair of small, black eyes, with round pupils around it. The patterns and coloration of scales vary from species to species. Northern water snakes come with dark shades such as dark brown, brown, dark grey, black or tan colored body, whitish or pale yellow underbody, with square blotches on their back and sides. Diamondback water snakes have diamond-shaped patterns on their brown or olive green-colored body and head.
How cute are they?
Snakes are one of the most feared species of our world. Due to the lack of knowledge, and aggressiveness of some species, most people don't like snakes. However, that doesn't change the fact that water snakes, especially banded water snakes, and diamondback water snakes are extremely appealing. Their unique patterns and colorations make them look gorgeous and cute!
How do they communicate?
Like many other snakes, they communicate by emitting chemical signals, through their glands. They use pheromones as a medium. By using the vomeronasal organs, they receive signals from others. They also use their eyesight and feel the vibration to locate their prey.
How big is a Water Snake?
The length of water snakes depends on their diet and species. In general, they are 2-3 ft (0.6-1 m) in length. Diamondback water snakes can grow up to 5.7 ft (1.7 m), and northern water snakes can grow up to 4.5 ft (1.3 m).
How fast can a Water Snake move?
Water snakes can move with ease while maintaining a speed of 6-7 mph (9.6-11.2 kph).
How much does a Water Snake weigh?
In general, they weigh around 5.2-14.3 oz (150-408 g). Depending on their diet, adult banded water snakes can weigh up to 16.38 oz (464.3 g).
What are their male and female names of the species?
Snakes don't have any particular names for males and females, respectively.
What would you call a baby Water Snake?
Baby water snakes are called neonates or snakelets. They are pale in color. They are 8-10 in (20.3-25.4 cm) in length. They are tiny in size and often have dark spots on their body.
What do they eat?
They are carnivores in nature and known for directly swallowing their prey alive. The primary diet of water snakes includes various small fish, crayfish, and occasionally small reptiles and amphibians, like southern leopard frogs, bullfrog tadpoles, and more. When there is a scarcity of fish, they can feed on worms, leeches, rodents, and even small mammals, who live near the water.
Are they poisonous?
Unlike water moccasins or the venomous cottonmouth, water snakes are non-venomous. They are known as harmless snakes.
Would they make a good pet?
Water Snakes can be a great choice for your first reptile pet. They are non-venomous and harmless. Not just that, they are pretty easy to take care of. Therefore, many experts recommend them as a first choice.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
Did you know...
Water snakes don't have fangs. Whenever they bite, they leave bite marks in a uniform pattern. They can bite if they ever threatened.
Water snakes have a close resemblance to water moccasins. Water moccasins are identified by their hourglass-like markings on their body and their blocky head.
Different types of Water Snake
Water snakes are classified into 200 species from 38 genera. Each of them has its own characteristics. A few of the most spotted water snakes are northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon), Florida banded water snake (Nerodia fasciata pictiventris), diamondback water snake (Nerodia rhombifer), southern water snake (Nerodia fasciata), and more.
How long can Water Snakes stay underwater?
They spend half of their life near the water. They can comfortably remain submerged underwater for up to 10 minutes. However, remaining underwater for more than an hour is not possible for them. Depending on the weather, they can live without being in the water for weeks.
They come out of the water when they need to bask in the sun. They even prey on rodents there. However, their primary habitat is the water.
You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Water Snake coloring pages.