Understanding The Northern Water Snake: Appearance, Biology, Life Cycle, Habitat, Diet, Behavior

Trenton snake

About the Northern Water Snake
One of the most common snakes, you have likely seen the Northern Water Snake if you spend any time around water. A harmless yet aggressive snake, most people have few issues with it when they encounter one. It is not a danger, nor are there many side effects to a bite – outside of the pain and risk of infection, as with any other animal bite. You might have seen one hanging around or swimming in water, if you go near water often. That is their home. If you spend any time in boats, you may have even seen one swimming across near you.

Though it may grow up to 4 feet, potentially longer, most northern water snakes grow up to a couple of feet long. They also have a brownish, greyish body, primarily solid colored. It changes slightly as they age, but adults look identical overall.

Northern water snakes are not egg layers. They give live birth, like many other snakes. The birth comes a few months after conception, which usually occurs in late spring. Once the babies are born, they are free to go off on their own.

These snakes are somewhat aggressive. If in a situation where they feel threatened, they are likely to attack. They may also run away, but they are not afraid to stand their ground. On their own, these snakes typically spend most of their time hanging around or swimming. They will hang around tree branches, close to water, or they will go swimming.

When it comes time to sleep and hide, northern water snakes like to take places with plenty of shelter. They will take the homes of other animals, like beavers, or they will hide under plants in the water. Their main goal is to find somewhere close to water. These aquatic snakes prefer to stay around water at all times.

Their diet consists of anything they can find around the water. Fish, frogs, and anything that comes near the water is free game to them. They will swim around to hunt for food or go closer to the surface, wherever they can find some life. Aggressive and aquatic, the northern water snake is not something you want to go near. They want to stick with water and stay away from humans, and are likely to attack or go for a swim if you encounter and approach one.

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