Did you know that all snakes can swim? Some can swim better than others and some prefer to be near or in the water.
When we see a snake swimming in the water, we often think of the water moccasin, also known as the cottonmouth. However, there are many more snakes that can be found swimming in the water in Mississippi and many of them are not venomous.
This snake was swimming along the edge of the pond behind Tara Lodge. You can clearly see in the photo below that his pupils are rounded and his head is also rounded. This indicates he is nonvenomous – just your everyday water snake.
How to identify snakes
Knowing how to identify venomous and nonvenomous snakes is a useful skill. The differences in shapes of pupil, head shape, and other characteristics are used to aid in identification.
Visit this Mississippi State Extension publication for more information: http://extension.msstate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/information-sheets/is0641.pdf
How to avoid snakebites
The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science publication has some suggestions for avoiding snakebites:
- Leave all snakes alone
- Don’t kill snakes – you’re more likely to get bitten when attempting to kill, handle, or capture a snake.
- Watch where you walk, sit, or place your hands – snakes tend to hide in old stumps, under brush piles, under other debris and other hidden places. Check before you move, handle, sit, or otherwise mess with potential snake hiding places.
- Leave dead snakes alone – snakes that have recently died can bite reflexively