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  • Palm Beach Educational Article of the Month - The Banded Water Snake

The Banded Water Snake

The Banded Water Snake

An adult banded water snake usually measures from 61 to 106 centimeters on average. A Florida subspecies was reported to be a record size of 158.8 cm! The banded water snake is usually identified by it's color which can come typically in:
• Gray
• Green-ish gray
• Brown
Their bellies are often yellow in color with either bright red or black spots. It also has a dark crossbanding as its name suggests. These crossbands are found on their backs and sides.There are many snakes of this kind that appear so dark that it becomes very difficult to decipher it's patterning. This is especially try for older Palm Beach banded water snakes. So, it's a good thing that one can also identify a banded water snake by its flat head and somewhat heavy-bodied size.

It's scientific name is Nerodia Fasciata. It's a rare type of snake and you would have to be in the southern area of North America to be in anyway in contact with this Florida snake.

Life Cycle
With most Palm Beach water snakes, they reach their maturity in three to four years. They often start mating during the spring time with snakes being born between the months of August and October. Most males are often reported to be vying for the attention of one female snake. Young water snakes are born as live snakes which means that they do not hatch from eggs. In fact, the eggs hatch from within the female snake's body before birth! On average, water snakes can have about 20 snakes per litter. A newborn snake is roughly the length of 8 inches.

Banded water snakes are often found in most Palm Beach fresh water areas which include:
• Lakes
• Marshes
• Ponds
• Rivers
• Streams

The main diet of banded water snakes are:
• Fish
• Frogs
• Tadpoles
• Crayfish
• Salamanders
• Rodents
It uses a particular organ called the Jacobson's organ in order to detect its prey.

If you ever do encounter a banded water snake, it's typical reaction is to flee. However, they do tend to be quite nasty creatures and should they feel threatened, may release a certain irritating musk or bite. Some people have, however, taken these snakes as pets as they tend to be very comfortable around humans and other Florida animals. They are also quite easy to take care of. Like most snakes, banded water snakes are most active at night though you have some chance of seeing them during the day as well.

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