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Water Snakes

water snakes

Have you ever seen a water snake gliding through the calm waters of a pond or lake? These beautifully patterned creatures are surprisingly common around aquatic habitats but often go unnoticed due to their secretive nature. 

water snakes

In this article, we’ll look closer at the fascinating world of water snakes and learn about their habits and behavior. 

We’ll discover why these reptiles make great inhabitants of ponds and lakes, as well as how they play an important role in controlling populations in their respective ecosystems.

Finally, we’ll discuss ways humans can help conserve water snake species worldwide. Whether you want to appreciate or understand these creatures better, you’ll soon have answers for everything!

An Overview of Water Snakes

water snakes

Water snakes, otherwise known as the Neruda genus of non-venomous North American colubrid snakes, can often be found near or inside bodies of water. They are most commonly found in and around the southeastern United States. However, they can also be seen in other parts of the country.

These aquatic reptiles come in a variety of colors. These include various shades of olive green, black, gray, brown, and even bright yellow.

Different Types of Water Snakes: The Most Common Varieties

water snakes

The most well-known species of a water snake is the northern water snake (Neruda side-on), typically brown or reddish-brown with dark cross bands running across its back. 

This species is frequently encountered in freshwater streams, lakes, and ponds along the entire eastern coastline up to Minnesota. 

Another notable species is the banded water snake (Neruda fascinate). This snake grows up to four feet long and has distinctive orange or red bands along its backs and tails. It inhabits areas from Florida up to New Jersey and into Indiana. 

The diamondback water snake (Neruda rhombifer) is another type of Neruda. This species typically bears a pattern of large diamond shapes along its back. It’s generally found in larger rivers throughout Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. 

The western cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) is often mistaken for a water snake due to its aquatic nature. Still, it’s classified as a venomous pit viper rather than a harmless colubrid like other members of the Neruda genus. 

Adaptations of Water Snakes

water snakes

Water snakes have adapted to life fully submerged underwater by developing stronger respiratory muscles than their land-dwelling counterparts. This allows them to hold their breath beneath the surface for longer periods while hunting prey, such as fish and frogs. 

Their underwater vision has also evolved to give them an edge when searching for food underwater. Certain cells in their eyes allow them to see more clearly through murky waters than land-dwelling snakes who rely on scent alone to locate prey items on land.

How to Care for Them: Handling Tips and Safety Precautions

water snakes

When handling wild snakes, it is important to take proper safety precautions. Be sure to wear thick clothing that covers your entire body and long, sturdy gloves that extend past the wrist. Always have a secure grip on the snake with both hands and keep your arms away from your body. 

Wild snakes can be frightening, so remain calm and move slowly when interacting with them. Additionally, never try to pick up a snake that you cannot see or if its head is hidden in brush or debris.

Do not attempt to handle any venomous snakes. This should only be done by professionals trained in safely driving and restraining such animals. Moreover, because most wild snakes are protected by law. As a result, it is illegal to capture or kill them without the necessary permits. 

If you find a wild snake on your property that you want to be removed, contact local animal control or wildlife experts for assistance. 

Photography Tips and How To Observe Water Snakes Without Disturbing Them

water snakes

Photographing water snakes can be a rewarding experience, as these creatures make for interesting and beautiful subjects. To ensure that you get the best shots possible, however, it is important to observe them without disturbing them.

One of the best ways to do this is by using a telephoto lens and shooting from a significant distance. This will allow you to capture detailed images of the snake. At the same time, you’ll be avoiding any potential stress or harm to the animal. 

When photographing water snakes, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings to minimize disruption. Make sure you avoid areas where there are a lot of people or other animals

Additionally, try not to make too much noise which could startle the snakes and cause them to flee before you have a chance to photograph them. If possible, try to choose locations with plenty of nearby covers so that they can feel safe and secure while posing for photos

To achieve optimal photos of water snakes, it is important to understand their behavior and habits. Try visiting the same spot at different times throughout the day so that you can get familiar with their routine – understanding when they are most active and when they tend to hide away in crevices or under rocks. 

This will help you time your shots better so you don’t miss out on opportunities for great photos!

The Importance of Conservation 

The importance of conservation cannot be overstated, as preserving natural habitats is essential for water snakes and a huge amount of other wildlife. Not only does it provide a safe place for all creatures to live, but it also protects the delicate balance that exists in an ecosystem

For example, when a water snake population dwindles due to habitat destruction or human interference, other species that rely on the snakes for food may also suffer. Likewise, populations that snakes typically eat will grow too big – this includes species such as frogs, birds, and mammals. 

In addition to providing animals with a safe place to live and prosper, conserving habitats can help protect water sources from becoming polluted or contaminated. 

Without proper protection, natural waterways can become dangerously polluted from industrial runoff and agricultural chemicals. This can have tremendous consequences for humans and wildlife, threatening species’ health and reducing overall biodiversity. 

Lastly, conserving habitats helps us better understand the intricate web of life we are all part of. By understanding how different species interact within an ecosystem – including how they impact each other’s survival – we can more effectively determine strategies for protecting certain environments and restoring damaged ones. 

We also gain a greater appreciation for fragile ecosystems like wetlands, which offer vital benefits such as flood control and erosion prevention.

Key Points

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Water snakes have adapted to life fully submerged underwater by developing stronger respiratory muscles than their land-dwelling counterparts.
They can hold their breath beneath the surface for longer periods while hunting prey such as fish and frogs. 
Do not attempt to handle any venomous snakes; this should only be done by professionals trained in safely driving and restraining such animals. 
When photographing water snakes, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings to minimize disruption. Spend time studying their habits to know when you can get the best shots.
Wild snakes can be frightening, so remain calm and move slowly when interacting with them. 

Conclusion 

water snakes

To conclude, there is an incredible variety of water snakes worldwide. From harmless species to those with potent venom, these aquatic creatures have adapted to their unique habitats and can be found in most major bodies of water. 

It is important to remember that even if you come across a snake on a river or the lake bank, it is likely not dangerous or menacing―instead, it might be just passing through. 

Ultimately, it’s beneficial to take the time to observe and appreciate this fascinating natural phenomenon but always maintain a safe distance. 

As we continue our exploration of the many forms of wildlife, let’s reflect upon our responsibility as stewards of the environment and work together to ensure the ongoing protection and conservation of these special animals.

Thank you for reading this article! Spend more time with snakes and check out or piece on Chicken Snakes.