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REPTILES

Black Bayou Lake NWR

YELLOW-BELLIED WATER SNAKES

Nerodia erythrogaster

At A Glance

  • IDENTIFICATION: Medium dark gray, gray-green, or olive on top and sides, yellow underside, round eyes
  • COMMONLY CONFUSED WITH: Broad-banded watersnake, Mississippi green watersnake, chicken snake, cottonmouth
  • CONSERVATION STATUS: Least Concern - Stable
  • DIET: Fish, toads, frogs, tadpoles, salamanders, crayfish
  • HABITAT: Swamps, bayous, sloughs, lakes, ponds
  • BREEDING: Live birth to up to 20 snakes from August - October
  • BEHAVIOR: Semi-aquatic, basks on logs, branches, and on shore; will strike and bite aggressively if cornered
  • SPECIAL SKILLS: Musking, swimming
  • THREATS: Fish, snapping turtles, cottonmouths, herons, hawks, possums, coyotes, red foxes, raccoons, otters, raccoons
  • SEASONS FOR VIEWING IN NORTH LOUISIANA: Spring, Summer, Fall