A stocky snake with strongly keeled scales, a triangular head and small eyes pointed slightly upwards. It is greenish- brown overall, sometimes with indistinct mottling of a slightly darker shade.
Size To about 1.3 m.
Distribution Florida and parts of nearby states (subspecies floridana), and the Mississippi Basin (subspecies cyclopion).
Habitat Swamps, margins of lakes, ponds, etc.
Food Fish and amphibians.
Bre e ding Live-bearing, with litters of up to 50 young.
Note s American water snakes can be hard to tell apart or from the venomous Cottonmouth (See here). They should not be handled unless identification is certain.