"Redbelly Watersnake"

This is one of the larher specimens I've found. Thick beautiful snakes with a dark olive skin and an orange-red belly.

   
Photos by Jason Saucier

These are a nice to see but i relocate them as they threaten my duck hatchlings at the pond and small koi and goldfish. I have even caught these and Banded Water Snakes stalking goldfish in my smallest pond.

Description:
The redbelly watersnake is easily identified by its unmarked, orange or reddish belly and unmarked, reddish brown to dark brown back. The chin is usually light colored. Juvenile redbellies look very different from the adults as they are boldly marked with series of dark crossbands on the neck and three rows of alternating blotches on the rear part of the body. Like other watersnakes, the tip of the tail is often missing as it is easily broken off. Although they cannot regenerate like lizards, loss of the tail apparently causes them little harm.

Feeding/Diet:
These snakes feed on a variety of other animals but mostly eat frogs, toads, and salamanders. Activity/Behavior: Redbelly watersnakes often bask in the sun during the daytime but at night will travel overland and forage for prey. Habitat/Range: These snakes are found in and around a variety of aquatic environments including lakes, swamps, and along rivers. Unlike other watersnakes, redbelly watersnakes often travel overland far from permanent water sources.

Reproduction:
Redbelly watersnakes mate in the spring, and the females give birth to 650 young in early fall. Miscellaneouis: If threatened or captured, these snakes will vigorously defend themselves by biting repeatedly and smearing the antagonist with foul musk. Like many watersnakes, they are often misidentified as cottonmouths due to their dark coloration and preference for aquatic environments.

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Banded watersnakes


Description:
Banded watersnakes are heavy-bodied snakes with brown or grayish backs marked by reddish to dark brown crossbands extending the entire length of the body. They have scatterings of square spots on their belly scales. This species also has a dark band stretching from the eye to the corner of the jaw, distinguishing them from their close relative the northern watersnake. Some old individuals become very dark and are often mistakenly identified as cottonmouths and killed. The young have markings similar to those of the adults, except that they are more boldly marked.

Feeding/Diet:
Banded watersnakes feed on a variety of prey including fish, frogs, tadpoles, and salamanders. Habitat/Range: They are common in all types of freshwater aquatic environments in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, but are most abundant in marshes and ponds. Reproduction: Like other watersnakes, females grow larger than males and give birth to 957 young in late summer or early fall.

Miscellaneous:
Where the Coastal Plain and Piedmont meet, these snakes will frequently hybridize with northern watersnakes, and distinguishing the two species is often difficult. When threatened, banded watersnakes flatten their bodies to appear bigger, emit a foul musk from their anal glands, and bite repeatedly. When they bite, they often slash sideways, tearing the flesh of their attacker.