other activities. The Diamondback Water Snake is the largest North American water snake.Also known as the Diamond-backed Watersnake, it is an extremely common species of non-venomous snakes that is a member of the ‘colubrid’ family.They are often mistaken for the poisonous variety of the ‘cottonmouth’, owing to its biting habit. but capture fewer and fewer snakes through time. The diamondback water snake is found in the central United States, predominantly along the Mississippi River valley, but its range extends beyond that. Account Author: Matthew King, University of Georgia – edited by J.D. 27th Ann. Belly is either yellow, olive, or buff and is marked with dark crescents found along the margins of the ventral scales. While not endangered or threatened, the main threat to N. rhombifer is human ignorance. Dorsal coloration varies tremendously over its distributional range, though typically shades of tan or brown. Habitat destruction, wanton killing, and highway Range and Habitat: Diamondback rattlesnakes are restricted to the Lower Coastal Plain of the Southeast, from southern North Carolina to eastern Louisiana, although the stronghold of their range is in Florida and southern Georgia. The record length is 69 inches (175.3 cm). mortality also take their toll on this slow moving and slow to Western diamondbacks range in size from three to six feet, depending on the available food sources, and are the largest of the rattlesnake species found in North America. The diamondback water snake is one of the most common species of snake within its range. the early 1990s). Western diamondback rattlesnakes live throughout most of the state, but not in the east and far north. They are large, heavy-bodied snakes with large, broad heads with two light lines on the face. Share your photo. biologists because of certain harmful capture methods (such as The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest rattlesnake species and is one of the heaviest known species of venomous snake, with one specimen shot in 1946 measuring 2.4 m (7.8 ft) in length and weighing 15.4 kg (34 lb). Just when the control effort began in late 1997, dead watersnakes and turtles were observed in large numbers. Diamondback Water Snake (Nerodia rhombifer) - Threatened Description: 30 - 48 inches. It is found predominantly near slow moving bodies of water such as streams, rivers, ponds, or swamps. Conservation Status: The diamond-backed watersnake is not a protected species in Texas and … (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC). awareness and a change in focus from collecting rattlesnakes to Whigham and Claxton, Georgia, hold roundups every year They are accomplished swimmers and even travel through saltwater to and from barrier islands. Description: 30 - 48 inches. They only typically resort to biting if physically harassed or handled. Males are larger than females. Adults are usually 33-72 in (84-183 cm) long, but the largest individual on record was 96 in (244 cm). Speake, D. W., and R. H. Mount. They’re perhaps the most commonly encountered. Neonates are around 8–10 in (20–25 cm) in length. The diamond-backed watersnake is not a protected species in Texas and can be legally collected with a hunting license. Keeled dorsal scales are in 25 to 31 rows near midbody. diamondback watersnake.JPG. reproduce reptile. Banded Watersnakes N. fasciata have even, connecting bands across the top of the snake all the way down the body. This species usually inhabits dry sandy areas, palmetto or wiregrass flatwoods, pinewoods, coastal dune habitats, or hardwood hammocks. A cause for the outbreak might have been an abnormally wet and cold El Niño weather system. The western diamondback weighs between three to seven pounds, with some tipping the scale as large as 15 pounds. It was first observed in the late 1980s and had reached high densities in the early 1990s, causing fisherman and other visitors to complain as they believed that the snakes were eating the reservoir's fish, frogs and, turtles—mostly stocked fish, American bullfrogs, and red-eared sliders—all non-native species too. In the United States, Crotalus atrox is found in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Larger specimens will often consume rodents. In typical counter colored fashion, the underside is generally a yellow or lighter brown color often with black blotching. Mating occurs in the spring and fall and females give birth to 12 – 24 young in the late summer. 1973. However, other venomous snakes may rival this species in weight. Similar Species: Northern Water Snakes and young Copperbelly Water Snakes have dark bands across the neck. Like other Nerodia species, diamondback water snakes are ovoviviparous. over much of its range. They can be commonly found in a variety of water bodies: swamps, rivers, ditches and water tanks; three individuals have even been found floating in a car tire in a pond. They grow to an average length of 30-48 inches (76–122 cm). Unfortunately, this defensive behavior is frequently misinterpreted as aggression and often leads to their being mistaken for the venomous cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus), with whom they do share habitat in some places. Captive specimens will often bite when captured but become fairly docile with regular handling. Utilizes open water features with buffers of 60m from and 250m into selected water features. It is also found in northern Mexico, in the states of Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, and Veracruz. , where it is likely extirpated (none have been seen in NC since Though their range overlaps with several other species of water snake, interbreeding is not known. Its bite is known to be quite painful due to its sharp teeth meant to keep hold of slippery fish. The range of Nerodia rhombifer covers many states of the lower Mississippi River Valley, found as far north as Iowa; Mexican subspecies of N. rhombifer are found in Mexico and occur along the Atlantic coast of that country. Utilizes wet vegetation features with buffer of unlimited into selected vegetation features. Nerodia rhombifer is the habitat generalist of the watersnakes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerodia_rhombifer. editors of this guide it should copy everything, but if you're not, it The much longer but more slender king cobra is probably greater in average body mass if not maximum weight, and the shorter but even bulkier Gaboon vipercould (but is not verified to) exceed the eastern diamondback r… You can copy this taxon into another guide. In 1996 a contract was awarded to a wildlife control company to cull the snake population. Conf. Photos by J.D. It ranges within the states of Texas , Oklahoma , Kansas , Iowa , Louisiana , Arkansas , Missouri , Illinois , Indiana , Tennessee , Mississippi , Georgia , and Alabama . This snake has been introduced to Lafayette Reservoir in Contra Costa County, California. FG-0079_Diamondback_Water_Snake.mp4. The diamondback water snake is found in the central United States, predominantly along the Mississippi River valley, but its range extends beyond that. receives no federal protection despite the fact that it has declined The (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA). Utilizes flowing water features with buffers of 60m from and 250m into selected water features. Geographic range helps determine species, but N. erythrogaster has is its namesake plain belly that varies across the range from yellow to orange. Nerodia rhombifer is viviparous, giving birth to an average of 47 live young, each of which measure between 20-33 cm (8-13 in). The brown/tan coloration and diamond-shaped pattern also causes these snakes to be mistaken for rattlesnakes, especially when encountered on land by individuals unfamiliar with snakes. They can be commonly found in a variety of water bodies: swamps, rivers, ditches and water tanks; three individuals have even been found floating in a car tire in a pond.

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