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Banded water snake

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The banded water snake, also known as the Nerodia Fasciata Fasciata, is one of the rare snakes that you seldom encounter. The southern portion of North America is essentially where these snakes are found. Over time, they have acquired several scientific names such as Natrix Sipedon Fasciata, Tropidonotous Fasciatus, and Coluber fasciatus. These snakes may grow up to nearly 40 inches long, and they look reddish-brown or deep brown. There are prominent red or black spots on their yellow bellies, making them recognizable. However, as they get older, their skin tone may darken. These snakes frequently have cross bands on their backs and flanks. Some of them are broader, while others are narrower. They are keeled, hefty-bodied, and typically lose their banding as they mature.

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banded water snake
(Image Credit: Getty Images)
KINGDOMAnimalia
Scientific NameNerodia fasciata confluens
FAMILY
Colubridae
LENGTH61-107 CM
WEIGHT113-247 G

Lifespan

They may live for a maximum of 8 years in the wild and roughly three years in captivity.

banded water snake Habitat

Because these snakes are not renowned for devouring other snakes, they may be placed together or with other snakes. They generally love living in freshwater regions like the marshes, lakes, streams, rivers, and ponds and are located in the southern portion of North America. They may occasionally be found on land, hanging from tree branches and although though they are not particularly beautiful pets, being kept captive is not an issue for them. While these snakes are pretty prevalent in many regions like Florida, they are not well protected.

banded water snake Behavior

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Broad-banded water snake (Nerodia fasciata confluens) swimming in the stagnant water of a bayou
(Image Credit: Getty Images)

Their personality is pretty unpleasant, yet they are relatively simple to care for if you want to take one home to enjoy as a pet. This breed of the snake will generally escape at the indication of conflict. However, it does not always turn out that way. In this instance, they will bite and exude an annoying scent if they feel threatened. Otherwise, they may live pretty peacefully around people or other animals. Avoid picking these snakes up since they will take offense and strike. You may discover water snakes that will consume food from your hand in certain circumstances. However, this is not a chance that you would want to take. These snakes may be found in the day or the nighttime. However, they are more active at night.

What Do Banded Water Snakes Eat

Speaking of rodents, if you have a problem with them on your property, a banded water snake can undoubtedly consume them for you. The water snake is continually moving; therefore, they do not consume too much food simultaneously. They may spend days without eating. Tadpoles, crayfish, salamanders, tiny fish, and frogs are just a few of the creatures they eat.

Habits of Mating

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Broad-banded water snakes (Nerodia fasciata confluens) mating on a rock walkway
(Image Credit: Getty Images)

Banded water snakes reproduce in April. Females usually produce from 9 to 50 live young following the gestation phase of 79 days. The young are 200-240 mm (approximately 8.0-9.5 inches) long when they are born and are self-sufficient straight away. They become reproductively mature at 2-3 years of age.

Related: How do snakes mate ?

Life Cycle of the Baby Banded Water Snake

Baby in snakes usually occurs between May and August of the same year. However, this might vary across subspecies.

The children are born with brilliant long striped skin and are roughly 8 inches in length. The clutch size may vary from 9 to 57, depending on the conditions, such as temperature, range, etc.

In the same way as their parents, the infants will attack and exude a foul scent when provoked. Around the age of 2 to 3 years, both sexes of children reach sexual maturity.

Adaptations

Like most other snakes, utilizing its vomeronasal organ, also called Jacobson’s organ, the animal can smell parvalbumins in the cutaneous mucus of its prey, thus identifying it becomes easier.

Because of their brownish-red and black patterns, banded water snakes are sometimes mistaken for dangerous species like snakes (water moccasins) and copperheads. This mimic is a natural device for self-defense to confound predators.

As a behavioral adaptation, the reptile typically flattens its body and head to make it seem more significant if confronted.

Predators

The great blue heron, other giant snakes, and semi-aquatic species like alligators are the main threats to the banded water snake.

Is a banded water snake dangerous?

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banded water snake
(Image Credit: Getty Images)

As adults, they have black bands and are commonly mistaken for copperheads or cottonmouths, although these snakes are not poisonous. They may flatten their bodies and bite if they get irritated.

Classification of Species

Presently, three subspecies of the banded water snake have been defined by the biologists, based upon their range:

  • Nerodia fasciata fasciata
  • Inflorescence of N. fasciata confluens
  • Inflorescence of the Nerodia fasciata pictiventris

Interesting Facts

  • The snake has been documented to stay underwater for more than 20 minutes.
  • Their generic name Nerodia has arisen from the Greek words ‘Nero’ meaning “flowing” or “liquid,” and ‘dia’ meaning “through.”
Related: California Kingsnake Facts.
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