Your Complete Guide on Brown Water Snakes

Jackson snake

Brown Water Snakes are relatively common and belong under the list of protected animals in Georgia. Due to their appearance, they are commonly mistaken as the venomous water moccasin or cottonmouth. Unfortunately, this uncanny resemblance has led to the killing of numerous brown water snakes that significantly affected their population.

What is the Appearance of Brown Water Snakes?
Brown Water Snakes can grow at about 30-60 inches in length; the longest record would be 70 inches. This semi-aquatic snake has a stout body with dark brown square blotches on its back. There are also dark markings that run from the belly to the sides of the snake's body. They have keeled scales with about 25 to 33 average rows of dorsal scales in their midbody. Juveniles will have the same color as the mature Brown Water Snakes.

What is the Habitat of Brown Water Snakes?
You will typically encounter these snakes at slow-moving rivers or canals. You can also find them on lakes, cypress swamps, and brackish waters, especially in places with abundant overhanging vegetation. You will see them basking on bushes, logs, and branches above the water. Once they sense danger, they can immediately retreat to the water to escape the threat. This snake is inherently found in Coastal Plains and some parts of the southern US and Piedmont. They can survive from Virginia to Florida and the extreme south of Alabama.

What is the Diet of the Brown Water Snakes?
The diet of the Brown Water Snake is primarily composed of fish, which is why you will typically find it near the bodies of water. There were instances that it was seen with spines of catfish bulging from its bodies. The spine will gradually break, which will prompt the healing process of the snakes. They also have a unique method of capturing their prey. They will simply hang their body from the branches near the waters. They will then immediately capture the unsuspecting amphibians from up above. Some of them will lie on the water's surface and will wait for a catfish to pass by. They will then swallow them alive as soon as the prey is on their range.

What is the Life Cycle of Brown Water Snakes?
The Brown Water Snakes play a key role in managing their prey population and keeping the balance in our ecosystem. They are excellent swimmers and climbers. If they feel threatened, they may release a powerful musk that will deter the attacker. The mating season will start in the spring season and will usually happen in low-lying branches and trees. The female will release pheromones that the male snakes will follow. Not more than three males can mate with one female snake. The females usually are larger since they need to store at least 50% of body fats during the ovulation period. The females will deliver 14-58 offspring from June to November.

While non-venomous, the snakes have been killed by people who lack the knowledge to set them apart from the venomous water moccasin. To avoid this situation, be sure to ask the help of the snake removal expert if you found a snake on your property. Go back to the home page: Snakes of Jackson