How do I identify my diamondback water snake?

Answered by Michael Wilson

To properly identify a Diamond-backed Watersnake, there are a few key characteristics to look out for. These snakes are known for their large size and stocky build. They typically measure around 3-4 feet in length, although some individuals can reach up to 5 feet.

One of the most distinctive features of the Diamond-backed Watersnake is the pattern on its back and sides. As the name suggests, they have diamond-shaped blotches that are dark in color. These blotches can vary in size, but they are typically quite prominent and easy to spot. The background color of the snake’s body is usually brown, but it can range from yellowish to greenish, depending on the individual and the environment it inhabits.

When examining the belly of the Diamond-backed Watersnake, you will notice a light yellow coloration with dark, half-moon shaped spots. This belly pattern is unique to this species and can help in distinguishing it from other snakes.

In terms of behavior, Diamond-backed Watersnakes are often found near bodies of water such as rivers, streams, ponds, or marshes. They are excellent swimmers and are adapted to their aquatic habitats. These snakes are also known for their aggressive nature, especially when threatened or cornered. So, if you happen to encounter one, it’s best to observe it from a safe distance.

It’s worth mentioning that the Diamond-backed Watersnake shares some similarities with other snake species, such as the Northern Watersnake and the Cottonmouth snake. To differentiate them, you can focus on the specific patterns and colors mentioned earlier. Additionally, the head shape of the Diamond-backed Watersnake is usually more rounded compared to the triangular-shaped heads of Cottonmouths and some other venomous snakes.

In summary, to identify a Diamond-backed Watersnake, look for its large size, stocky build, and the distinct diamond-shaped blotches on its back and sides. Pay attention to the coloration, which can range from brown to yellowish or greenish. Examine the light yellow belly with dark half-moon shaped spots. Consider the snake’s behavior near water habitats and be cautious of its potential aggression. Remember to differentiate it from other similar snake species by focusing on head shape and specific patterns.