NNTRC Snakes

Scientific Name

Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus

Common Name 

Eastern Cottonmouth

Physical Characteristics

Average adult size is 20-48 inches (51-121 cm). A dark-colored, heavy-bodied snake. Juveniles are brightly colored with reddish-brown crossbands on a brown ground color. The dark crossbands contain many dark spots and speckles.

Geographic Range (USA)

South-Eastern United States

Map button button

These snakes can be found along streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, retention pools, canals, and roadside ditches. Rarely found away from water.


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


Hemorrhagic Venom


When threatened, the cottonmouth warts off threats with its mouth wide open and its fangs exposed, showing the white lining of its mouth (thus its common name, the cottonmouth).

This page was last updated on: August 18, 2016