Appearance and biology
The water moccasin snake is also known as the cotton mouth. It has a very long head and its snout is blunt. The average length of an adult water moccasin is about 32 inches. The male is normally longer than females. Their color varies and this depends on where they are found. Their colors would include yellow, brown, grey, brown and olive green with bands along their body while their bellies are white in color. These bands would normally fade with age. They are venomous in nature and give birth to their young ones.
Eggs are internally fertilized after mating (normally occurs in the warm periods of the year). The eggs remain in the body of the female where they are incubated till birth. Each litter is made of about 6 to 8 juveniles. The young ones are about 22-35 cm long. After birth, they are abandoned by the mother to take care of themselves and shedding occurs at 2 weeks. For the first few months, the young ones would normally feed on small frogs. The young ones grow till they rare mature enough to mate and have their young ones. With the right conditions and proper availability of food, with 3 years, the snake will have matured. This process repeats and thus its life cycle.
The water moccasin would mostly be found in areas around water, still or slow moving waters to be precise. These would include around lakes, ponds, swamps, streams, marshes, mountain streams, creeks and other wet places. As much as it may be spotted swimming in salt waters, they definitely prefer fresh water instead. It is important to note than in places that do not necessarily provide that wet environment, then they are adapted to survive in such like the pine wood areas and prairies.
Water moccasin would normally consume whatever their surrounding has to provide. Most of their diet would include frogs and fish. Small turtles, small alligators, snakes, birds and amphibians are part of their diet.
• Male to male aggressions is practiced among the water moccasins in their search for sexually active mates.
• When it feels threatened, it would normally coil followed by showing its fangs. It defends itself by striking the enemy. Its bite is dangerous as the snake is venomous in nature and therefore, one should seek immediate medical attention after a bite.
• Water moccasins are said to be semi-aquatic which means they are excellent swimmers. This ability is especially useful as they are able to hunt for prey such as fish. The Water Moccasin Snake