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December 24, 2016 2 min read

Cottonmouth Snake

Facts identification and control

Biological name

Agkistrodon piscivorus


Owing to the whitish (cotton-like) lining in the mouth part of the snake, the venomous cottonmouth (also known as water moccasin) is about the only semi-aquatic viper left in the USA.

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Chiefly a native of the southwestern part of the country, the cottonmouth snake is a very good mostly found around ponds swamps creeks and us all dark shallow slow flowing body of water. They vary in length with the adult male ranging from 0.9 to 1.2 meters. To actualize mating, the male cottonmouth wouldn’t mind crawling from its home water across severally land and water bodies to a female cottonmouth snake, which is usually smaller in size, and then crawl back to its home water.

The mating season for the cottonmouth snakes is usually between late summer and early winter. Usually, every 2 to 3 years, the female cottonmouth snake bears and average of 16 young ones. These young snakes bears several dark colors like brown, shade, tan, copper… Which adapts them their dark environment, a form of protective shade adaptation which differentiate them from the adult. Contrary to the young, the juvenile snakes are more brightly colored with yellowish tail, a form of adaptation that attracts preys to them. On the other hand, the adult snakes have dull colors like brown, copper color with dark bands around their head just the copperhead snakes. The cottonmouth snakes have pronounced keeled scales, unlike the copperhead, giving them a rougher appearance.

The cottonmouth snake detects prey with an heat sensor called pit. The pit is found on the head of the snake between its eyes and its nostrils. The reason it is categorized in pit viper family. The cottonmouth snake is carnivorous like any other viper. It feed on reptiles, amphibians, rodents or other snakes including cottonmouth snakes. It is an opportunistic hunter. Like most vipers, the cottonmouth snake coils when it’s about to attack or defend itself. It delivers a fast strike, delivering a bite that will cause excruciating pain to its predator or prey. The bite of a cottonmouth snake delivers venom to the injured surface, this venom contain anticoagulants which prevents the blood from clotting while destroying the red blood cells.

Additional information

The cottonmouth snake is a less aggressive snake that will only attack in attempt to defend itself when threatened or under attack. A bite, however painfully, rarely result in death. Nevertheless, quick medical attention should be given to the victim who has the bite.

To prevent regular visit from the cottonmouth snakes, care must be taken. It is very safe to keep away from the snake or its habitat. People living close to shallow water should ensure that their grasses are always trimmed, they should maintain a clean environment free of debris and firewood