Despite over 40 snakes living in the state of Georgia, there are a limited number of water snakes. When defining a water snake, the reptiles do not necessarily live in the water as their primary habitat. Rather than living in the water, the snakes inhabit the banks of creeks, marshes, ponds, rivers, and lakes. However, the reptiles are equipped with the capability to swim and venture into the water.  Learn about the five most commonly found water snakes in Georgia.

Banded Water Snake

The banded watersnake is distributed from the center of Georgia to the coastline between Florida and South Carolina.

Banded water snakes grow large and range between 20 and 50 inches in length. The snake is easily identifiable. However, the coloration varies based on habitat. When it comes to color, the snake is gray or brown. Crossbands are noticeable in lightly colored banded water snakes. Lastly, the bodies are thick, and the heads are flat. 

The snakes are common in both fresh and saltwater environments and frequently venture into trees. Fortunately, the reptile does not contain venom but will strike when it feels threatened. However, the snake is a nocturnal feeder, so it is unlikely to stumble them in the daylight hours. 

Northern Cottonmouth

There are two variates of cottonmouth snakes found in Georgia. The two snakes are the northern cottonmouth and the Florida cottonmouth. The northern variation is found only in the center of the state. 

Some may be more familiar with the water moccasin, which is its secondary name. Despite the unlikely event of being bit, the snake is highly venomous. In regards to size, the snake measures between 25 and 36 inches. 

When exploring inland lakes, wetlands, and creeks, maintain a lookout for a snake with a broad head and gray or black bodies.  

The snake has a vast diet, including alligators, snakes, frogs, birds, and turtles. Remember to remain clear of the northern cottonmouth.

Florida Cottonmouth

The Florida cottonmouth shares the same venomous characteristics as the northern cottonmouth. Florida cottonmouth is inhabitants of the central part of the state to the coast from north to south. 

The Florida variation is colored black with dark brown bands. Additionally, each eye contains a brown stripe running from the mouth to the back of the head. In regards to size, the reptile measure between 29 and 50 inches. 

Take extreme caution when a Florida cottommouth is within sight. The snake does not tend to flee but instead displays the white interior of the mouth while hissing. Never approach the snake but rather back away. 

Glossy Swampsnake

The glossy swampsnake is excellent at seeking shelter and is most frequently found in slow-moving waters, including lakes, rivers, swamps, and creeks. As a result of their ability to find shelter, the snake is infrequently seen by humans. 

Glossy swampsnakes are a shiny brown with two distiguishable black lines running from head to tail. The underside ranges between brown and white. In regards to size, the reptile measures between 13 and 25 inches. 

The snake is found from the center of the state to the coastline. Glossy swampsnakes consume crawfish and are equipped with specialized teeth to chew through the hard shells. 

Common Water Snake

Two variations of the common water snake call Georgia home. The first is the northern water snake, and the second is the midland water snake. What is unique about the varieties is that they live in the upper mountainous portions of the state. 

Neither the northern or midland is poisonous. However, when bit, the wound bleeds profusely, the bleeding results from injecting an anticoagulant. 

The common water snakes prefer slow-moving waters. Each variety is colored differently. The midland water snake is dark red to gray compared to the northern water snake, which is dark brown to gray.  Both snakes grow between 20 and 45 inches in length. 

Now You Can Identify 5 Water Snakes In Georgia

The next time you venture along the shores of waterways, keep an eye out for these five varieties of water snakes found in the state of Georgia. While all snakes should be left undisturbed, pay close attention to the venomous species, including the Florida and northern cottonmouth. Unfortunately, snakes fall victim to humans as a result of fear and mistaken identity. When visiting coastal Georgia, check out Skidaway Island State Park to glimpse the reptiles in the nature center.