Urban Wildlife: Water Snakes

There are a lot of water snakes in the ponds of the park where I walk. They usually don’t pose for photos, but these guys seemed pretty active in the morning sunlight. The light was shining from a nice angle such that I could partly see through the water and see the other 99% of the snake’s body.


These, I believe, are called diamondback water snakes because of the pattern on their back. I think that many people confuse them for dangerous snakes like water moccasins because of this pattern but these water snakes are not venomous.


One easy way to tell that these are not water moccasins is that they swim with their bodies submerged, where as water moccasins swim on the surface of the water. Water moccasins are also fatter snakes and have a different shaped head. And if you look at the snake’s pupils you will see that they are round where as the pupils of the water moccasin are elliptical though I doubt you would get close enough to gaze into their eyes. Water moccasins, which are pit vipers, also have pits between their eyes and mouth that water snakes do not.


I have also seen some darker water snakes that I think are called blotched water snakes, but they get away to fast for me to get a good photo.Β  I guess snakes can be a bit scary, but these snakes are harmless.

There are also dozens of turtles that float about the pond and I seldom see them come out of the water.


So, a few reptiles this time around. Who knows what I’ll find next out there.

21 thoughts on “Urban Wildlife: Water Snakes

  1. Its their beady eyes that make them look eerie, so No, I don’t think I will get close enough to gaze at their pupils. LOL!
    But even if they look a little creepy, I did learn the difference now between diamondbacks and water moccasins. You taught me something, but I prefer to look into a cute turtle’s eyes over snake eyes. I do believe you can guess which my favorite photo was this time. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Okay Jason, out of all your wildlife photos, I’m going to go on record to say, these are not my favorite, lol.

    I loath snakes, and I don’t know about many, but I don’t think I’d want to get close enough to one to see their pupils or the dimple between them. The only snakes I’ll get close to are the ones my shoes and purses are made out of….just sayin’.

    And why do they call them Water Moccasins anyway? Moccasins are beautifully crafted footwear, these slithery things are more like Water Flip-Flops…..ugly, poisonous Water Flip-Flops…..lmao.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These pictures weren’t great with most of the snakes in the water and hard to see. I also understand that people don’t like snakes. I try to enjoy the wildlife around me if I can. There are a lot of snakes around, but they are mostly harmless varieties and they are fun to spot and try to identify. I don’t mess with them, just shoot their photo through a long lens.

      Actual water moccasins are shorter and fatter snakes and I don’t really see the ‘moccasin’ much either. They are also called cotton mouths because of their white mouths. If you see their white mouth and fangs, you are too close and should get out of there. I have only been very close to a cotton mouth once when I lived down on the coast. Pretty scary, but they aren’t as common around Austin. They are close cousins to copperheads which you find in the woods. I don’t think you’d see either of these out in El Paso though.


      Liked by 3 people

  3. I like snakes, as well as turtles, so I love these photos. It was nice of them to strike a pose. If you want a photo of a cottonmouth, you might try taking a picture of a department store Santa, this winter.

    Interesting, I didn’t know cottonmouths and water moccasins were the same thing. But if the shoe fits, why not?

    Liked by 2 people

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