Northern watersnakes are brown or dark brown with faint alternating dark (sometimes reddish) horizontal banding on the back and sides. Distinguishing northern watersnakes from many Lake Erie watersnakes is almost impossible, but their ranges do not overlap. Use a Bow with a Small Game Arrow for a clean kill. Often a clutch of hatchlings has more than one father. Above, a northern water snake is seen in Maryland on June 2, 2018. The Northern Water Snake - There are many people living in North America who will come across the Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon), but because of its range of colors and fairly large size it is commonly mistaken for other species.

Learn more about reptile and amphibian conservation and what you can do to help these species on our Reptile and Amphibian Stewardship page. Like water … As Northern water snakes age, the color darkens, and the pattern becomes obscure. Although this snake usually swallows small prey head first upon capture, it may carry large fish to shore before consuming them. Browse 52 northern water snake stock photos and images available, or search for black rat snake or sagebrush lizard to find more great stock photos and pictures.
The species has also been designated as a Specially Protected Reptile under the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. The easiest distinction between the two is cottonmouths have bands while water snakes have blotches. (1939) listed 119 water snakes out of a total of 885 from the George Washington National Forest; most were from riverine habitats at low elevations. The northern water snakes are both nocturnal and diurnal, hunting at night and in the daytime. Large snakes and mammals such as foxes and raccoons prey upon water snakes. All Rights Reserved. The northern water snake generally thrives in its aquatic habitat and assists in keeping ecological balance by consuming the vermin that would otherwise overrun its habitat. The belly is lighter in colour, often white or tan with dark red, tan or brown crescent-shaped spots. The northern watersnake is currently listed as Not at Risk under the Ontario Endangered Species Act, 2007 and Not at Risk under the federal Species at Risk Act.

Copyright ©2020 Northern water snakes come in several colors, but most have a dark band across their necks, splotches along their bodies, and crescent-shaped markings in contrasting colors. The northern water snake feeds heavily on fish and amphibians, swallowing its prey alive.These snakes have been known to eat a number of fish species, such as brook trout, sunfish, smallmouth bass, minnows, bullhead catfish, and hogsuckers.They have also been recorded eating northern cricket frogs, toads, southern leopard frogs, bullfrog tadpoles, and spring peepers. These snakes can be brown, gray, reddish, or brownish-black in color. It is almost always patterned with reddish-brown, brown or black crossbands near the head and alternating back and side blotches farther down the body. Information Request (check all that apply) Found in aquatic habitats including lakes, swamps, marshes, ditches, and freshwater streams and rivers; can live in brackish waters up to 12 ppt (parts per thousand) salinity. | Females mate when they are three years old. You can find a Northern water snake control & removal professional here. Like the Lake Erie watersnake, the northern watersnake is curious and not as wary of humans as many other snakes are. The northern watersnake frequently basks in the open, often in large groups. The northern water snake is a non-venomous aquatic snake that lives in lakes, swamps, streams and other waterways throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Males begin to breed within two years. This species is active in the day and at night.

The northern water snake can leap high into the air to snatch low-flying birds such as mallards. They escape predators by diving underwater. Their carnivorous diet consists of game, frogs, salamanders, and fish. Females give birth to one litter of live young per year, usually in mid- to late summer. In Canada, these snakes reach maturity in three to four years. A Bow with Small Game Arrows is considered to be the best weapon to wound or kill a snake of this size. The scales of this species are keeled (ridged down the centre), which gives the snake a rough, rather than a shiny, appearance. Nerodia sipedon. Water snakes are not venomous; however, they will bite if they feel threatened. There are few threats to this species, but waterfront construction and development, as well as water pollution, affect both its habitat and food sources. The northern watersnake is a subspecies of the common watersnake (N. sipedon). Please enable the javascript to submit this form. The eastern massasauga has a rattle on a blunt tail, a vertical pupil and a triangular head. By becoming a VIP Member, you support our work and allow us to create even more amazing features and content for you. These acts offer protection to individuals and their habitat. Northern water snakes can be confused with the venomous cottonmouth. These snakes live in North American waterways such as rivers, ponds, lakes, and streams. The northern water snake, or Nerodia sipedon, is a large water-dwelling snake that inhabits the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. The northern watersnake is widespread and abundant within its range in Canada and is one of the most commonly seen snakes around lakes. Females develop the eggs within their bodies and give birth to live young in late summer or early autumn. These aquatic snakes hide near beaver lodges and in plants such as cattails, Virginia creeper, and poison ivy, lying in wait for frogs, turtles, and leeches. Northern Water Snakes are native to the coastal shores of Roanoke Ridge and swamplands of Lemoyne. Although the bite is not poisonous, northern water snakes do inject an anticoagulant that causes the wound to continue bleeding. View an interactive map of the known ranges of northern watersnakes in Ontario. A Bow with Small Game Arrows is considered to be the best weapon to wound or kill a snake of this size. Adults generally reach a length of between 60 and 110 centimetres, but some individuals may be even larger. These are the most common snake seen in fresh and brackish waters in the Chesapeake region. Rarely far from shoreline habitats, these snakes can be found in shoreline vegetation, basking on rocks and logs, or in other open habitats along the edges of the water or under rocks along the shoreline. The Chesapeake Bay Program is a unique regional partnership that has led and directed the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay since 1983.
(Photo courtesy Mitch Greene/iNaturalist CC BY-NC), Water snakes have dark, thick crossbands on their body. The northern watersnake may be confused with the gray ratsnake, eastern foxsnake, milksnake, eastern hog-nosed snake, eastern massasauga and Lake Erie watersnake. The gray ratsnake is black with faint blotches, whereas the northern watersnake is dark brown with faint banding. The common watersnake (Nerodia sipedon) is a species of large, nonvenomous, common snake in the family Colubridae. Northern water snakes also hunt on land, preying on small mammals. The watersnakes, and other harmless snakes that bear live young, were included in the family Colubridae but recently have been placed in the family Natricidae. The website takes a lot of work and time, so that’s why we have to rely on ads. Swim actively during the day and at night and can often be found basking on stumps, rock and branches to stay warm. Martin (1976) found 3 Northern Watersnakes out of a sample of 545 on the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway in a 3-year period. In Ontario, females give birth to 10 to 20 young. If you need to reduce water snake populations on your property, it is best to call in an experienced professional in water snake trapping and removal. Northern Water Snake. Get the latest updates on our work delivered to your inbox. ©2002-2020 Animal Control Solutions. The eastern foxsnake has a yellow to light brown body with brown blotches down its back and two alternating rows of smaller blotches along the sides. Northern water snakes are not poisonous, but their bite can be painful and leave the victim susceptible to infection. Large birds such as herons, cormorants, and owls include northern water snakes in their diets. Look for improper sealing where plumbing and utility lines penetrate the foundation of the building. Hunting Details: The Northern Water Snake yields a skin and stringy meat. Northern watersnakes are harmless but will bite in self-defence if they are captured. Northern water snakes also have round pupils. You can distinguish a northern water snake by its round pupils and the double row of scales under its tail. Other names: watersnake, Natrix sipedon sipedon. The eastern hog-nosed snake has a distinct upturned snout. Nuisance Wildlife Control, Pest Animal Removal. 214 King Street West, Suite 612 Toronto, ON M5H 3S6, © 2010 — 2020 Ontario Nature. Fax: (410) 267-5777, © 2020 Chesapeake Bay Program All Rights Reserved Young snakes are greyish with pronounced brown banding, and they become darker as they age until the patterning can barely be seen. VIP Members don't see Ads. Predators of the northern water snake typically include sizable mammals such as raccoons, opossums, and foxes. They are expert swimmers, and devour mostly fish, frogs, and tadpoles. These markings often fade as the snake gets older. The northern watersnake is a gray to reddish-brown snake with numerous dark brown, reddish-brown, or blackish crossbands along the front third of the body.

At night, these snakes patrol the banks of the water they swim in, looking for minnows in vegetation. Northern water snakes grow to over 4 feet (122 cm) in length. The species’ status was last confirmed in January 2010. Lake Erie watersnakes are found only on islands in western Lake Erie, including Pelee Island, whereas northern watersnakes are not present on those islands. The bands become blotches in the latter part of the body. Browse 52 northern water snake stock photos and images available, or search for black rat snake or sagebrush lizard to find more great stock photos and pictures. Additional detail about legal protection for species at risk in Ontario is available on our Legal Protection page. Uhler et al. Its resemblance to some venomous snakes often leads to its destruction. Explore {{searchView.params.phrase}} by … The species is native to North America. Northern Water Snake Identification. When grasped by a human or animal, the northern water snake attacks in return, repeatedly biting and releasing a musky odor along with excrement.

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