This is a quick guide to Texas Water snakes.
It bothers me like crazy how people assume all water snakes that are nearby in or around lakes are
Cotton Mouths. I have personally captured well over 300 water snakes in the time I have been
hunting reptiles. Of those 300 I have only found 4 Cotton Mouths. The three most common Texas
Water Snakes I have seen are the Diamond Back Water Snakes, the Blotched Water Snake and the Cotton
Diamond Back Water Snake
The Diamond Back Water Snake is the biggest of the 3 species I am going to discuss. The Diamond
Back Water Snake can reach close to 7 feet in length and specimens between 4 and five feet are
pretty common. These water snakes are found around any type of water in Texas. I have seen them in
lakes, ponds, rivers and even in my koi pond in the back yard. They eat fish, frogs, crayfish and
anything else around the water. The Diamond Back Water Snake is normally light grey with broken
black stripes going across the body. These snakes are aggressive when cornered or disturbed. They
will attempt to attack you if you hold them. They do not really hurt when they bite but it will
bleed some. After handling one for a few minutes it will usually calm down and stop biting.
Blotched Water Snake
The Blotched Water Snake reaches nearly the same size as the Diamond Back Water Snake. These types
of snake are a tan color with dark brown stripes going across their backs. Specimens reach 4 to six
feet. I regularly catch this species of snake around three feet in length. These snakes co-exist
along side with the Diamond Back Water Snake. Both species eat the same food sources of fish, frogs
and crayfish. These snakes will strike when cornered but will not do any real harm. This species
will relax after holding and can become gentle once they have had time to calm down.
Water Moccasin – Cottonmouth
The Water Moccasin is the only venomous water snake in the United States. Water Moccasins are also
known as Cottonmouths. They have acquired this name because when threatened they coil up and open
their mouths. The mouth is a white color and looks like cotton. The Cottonmouth is poisonous and
will require a trip to the emergency room if bitten. Water Moccasins have a large amount of
variation range of color patterns. Some Cottonmouths are almost completely black in color while
others are a light brown or tan. Cottonmouths have solid black color stripes running across there
backs. Cottonmouths also have a oval shaped pupil. All non-venomous snakes in the United States
have round eyes. The Coral snake which is poisonous also has circular shaped eyes. The Water
Moccasin feeds on the same food that the Diamond Back Water Snake and the Blotched Water snake feed
on. Aquatic creatures, frogs and insects.