Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)

Highly venomous, the Cottonmouth (also known as Water Moccasin) is found in the eastern third of NC. Very important to the ecosystem, they eat fish, herps, birds, and small mammals. Seeing one of these impressive animals in the wild is always exhilirating! If you encounter one, do not disturb it, but enjoy it from a distance!
Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Cape Hatteras, Dare Co., NC
26 Nov 20014
Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Cape Hatteras, Dare Co., NC
26 Nov 20014
Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Cape Hatteras, Dare Co., NC
26 Nov 20014

When alarmed, a Cottonmouth throw its head back and open its mouth in a threat display.

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Cape Hatteras, Dare Co., NC
26 Nov 20014

The cottony pink-white mouth lining gives these animals their common name.


Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Richmond Co., NC
14 June 2008

Note vertical pupils.

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Richmond Co., NC
14 June 2008

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Richmond Co., NC
14 June 2008

Incredibly beautiful ventral pattern on this individual.


Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Richmond Co., NC
14 June 2008

Cottonmouths frequent stream banks and logs along streams.

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Richmond Co., NC
14 June 2008

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Richmond Co., NC
14 June 2008

Cottonmouths swim with their heads out of the water, and their bodies ride high in the water, very different from non-venomous water snakes (like the Northern Water Snake) in North Carolina whose heads barely protrude and whose bodies are mostly under water.


Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Richmond Co., NC
14 June 2008


Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Washington Co., NC
20 June 2007

Found along the roadside draped under a dead Redbelly Water Snake (roadkilled or victim of the Cottonmouth itself?), this Cottonmouth was one of the largest and fattest I've ever seen.

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Washington Co., NC
20 June 2007

Note the vertical pupils, an indication that this is one of North Carolina's six species of venomous snakes.

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Washington Co., NC
20 June 2007

The Eastern Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus) is the subspecies found in North Carolina.


Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Croatan National Forest, Craven Co., NC
28 Aug 2005

Some individuals are mostly chocolate brown with little pattern.

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Croatan National Forest, Craven Co., NC
28 Aug 2005

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Weymouth Woods, Moore Co., NC
11 June 2003


Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Marsh edge in Currituck Co., NC
6 Nov 2009

Here's a youngster that I almost stepped on. Fortunately the temp was in the 50s and s/he was pretty sluggish.

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Marsh edge in Currituck Co., NC
6 Nov 2009


Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Dare Co., NC
11 Nov 2012


Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti) Florida Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti)
Big Cypress, Collier Co., FL
23 Dec 2014

The Florida subspecies of Cottonmouth inhabits most of the state of Florida and barely into southern Georgia and Alabama.

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti) Florida Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti)
Big Cypress, Collier Co., FL
23 Dec 2014


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Created on ... June 23, 2003 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com