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UK Kentucky Snake Identification Site
A complete listing of all 33 known snakes species in Kentucky and surrounding regions
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Cottonmouth Western

Cottonmouth Western
Species Name:
Agkistrodon piscivorus

Common Name:
Cottonmouth Western

Species Name:
Agkistrodon piscivorus


KSNPC status is: Unlisted


Very heavy body, stout. Head is wider than body. Distinct crossband pattern of young fades as snake ages and the bands can be difficult to see in adult snakes. Obtain sizes of 30 to 48".


Eats fish, frogs, snakes, sirens, birds, and rodents. This is a very aggressive water snake. While they can be confused with non-venomous water snakes, you should beware of any heavy, stout bodied snake in western Kentucky aquatic habitats where the snake does not try to move away. They often "stand their ground" and sometimes gape showing their "cotton" colored mouth. often seen swimming with their head above water.

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