Water moccasins -- also known as cottonmouths -- are venomous, semi-aquatic snakes commonly found throughout the Southeastern United States. Found near water, they are pit-vipers that are considered to be fairly aggressive, though they rarely bite unprovoked. Water moccasins have potent venom and their bites can be fatal, so being able to identify a water moccasin is important in case you or someone you know encounters one.
Black Water Moccasins
Black is the color that most people expect water moccasins to be and it is, indeed, a very common color variation for adult water moccasins. Black water moccasins are solid black all over, excluding the underside of the belly, which usually is covered in brownish patches of color.
Adult water moccasins may be varying shades of brown. Brown water moccasins are solid brown all over, excluding the underside of the belly, which usually is covered in brownish patches of color.
Banded water moccasins may be mostly brown or yellow with black or brown crossbands extending down the length of the body. Like solid-colored water moccasins, patches of brown cover the underside of the body.
Juvenile Water Moccasins.
While adults are usually solid black or brown, young water moccasins are more likely to have patterned bodies. They may have bands, like adults, but with brighter shades of yellow and brown. The tips of their tails are often a pale yellow, which helps them attract prey.