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The Water Moccasin is a very venomous snake, one of the most deadly in North America. It is highly dangerous to people and their pets. If you should ever encounter one of these snakes and think that it has bitten someone, seek medical help immediately.

Water Moccasin <image courtesy Steve Barten>

The Water Moccasin does NOT live naturally in Ohio. The closest that it gets to Ohio is southernmost Illinois. Still, since you may visit an area where it lives, learn about this snake. And be very careful! This is one mean snake!
  • Adult body length: 20 - 75 inches
  • Breeding period: spring and fall
  • Young per year: 1 - 15 young are born
  • Typical foods: fishes, amphibians, snakes and birds

The Water Moccasin looks a lot like the Northern Water Snake and the Lake Erie Water Snake. Its large body is darkly colored, and it lives around water and wet places.
The Water Moccasin is a larger snake, however. The adult is as much as 20 inches longer than the harmless Water Snakes, and its body is much heavier than those of either of Ohio's Water Snakes. Also, its broad-based head is much wider than its neck.
The eyes of the Water Moccasin have vertical pupils, while those of the common Water Snakes have round pupils. The inside of a Water Moccasin's mouth is snowy white, and an individual may repeatedly open and show its mouth when threatened, thus exposing the light, cotton-colored lining of its mouth.

Overall Range
Eastern coastal plain from Virginia to Texas; inland from Georgia to Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

Range in Ohio
The Water Moccasin does NOT live naturally in Ohio. The closest that it comes to this state is southernmost Illinois. In the very unlikely event that you should see a Water Moccasin in Ohio, the snake would have escaped from captivity. In any case, this is one of the most deadly snakes in North America, so don't take chances. Be sure of your identification!
Water Moccasin Ohio Map

This is a semi-aquatic snake and usually will be found near water. It is very aggressive and often will stand its ground when threatened. Or it may crawl slowly away from the threat. In contrast, non-venomous Water Snakes typically flee quickly, often dropping into the nearest water. Also, when aroused or excited, the Water Moccasin vibrates its tail rapidly. The common Water Snakes do not do this.

Links, "Water Moccasin"

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The Ohio Historical Society (OHS)
Date of last revision: 06/25/2003
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