NNTRC Snakes

Scientific Name

Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti

Common Name 

Florida Cottonmouth

Physical Characteristics

Length, 30-48 in. (76-122 cm). Longest recorded length 74.5 in. The Florida Cottonmouth, A. p. conanti and the Eastern Cottonmouth, A. p. piscivorus are slightly larger than the Western Cottonmouth, A. p. leucostoma. A large robust snake, cottonmouths are olive, brown, or black above with dark dorsal crossbands with non-distinct borders. The crossbands are prominent in young and sub-adults however, they can be completely dark and patternless as adults. The Florida Cottonmouth, A. p. conanti can be distinguished from the other 2 subspecies by the head markings; a dark brown cheek stripe bordered above and below by a narrow white line.

Geographic Range (USA)

Florida Cottonmouth, A. p. conanti - Southern Georgia, Southeast Alabama and all of Florida. Eastern Cottonmouth, A. p. piscivorus - Southeast Virginia to east central Alabama. Western Cottonmouth, A. p. leucostoma – Southern tip of Illinois and west central Kentucky southward to Alabama and west to south central Oklahoma and central Texas.

Map button button

A semiaquatic snake found in lowlands and swampy areas including lakes, rivers, and ditches.


Fish, frogs, snakes, lizards, birds, and small mammals.


Hemorrhagins are the predominant toxins, resulting in extensive tissue damage and edema.


When approached Cottonmouths will usually stand their ground and vibrate their tails. Once thoroughly provoked, they will throw their head up and back with their mouth open wide revealing the white interior.

This page was last updated on: August 18, 2016