Green Water Snake

The green water snake, also known by the name Mississippi green water snake, is a colubrid of medium size, heavy body, and dark greenish-brown color. The semi-aquatic snake is endemic to the south-eastern United States.

Scientific Classifications

Conservation Status

Not EvaluatedNE

Not Evaluated

Data DeficientDD

Data Deficient

Least ConcernLC

Least Concern

Near ThreatenedNT

Near Threatened





Critically EndangeredCR

Critically Endangered

Extinct in the wildEW

Extinct in the wild





Mississippi Green Water Snake

The average length of the Mississippi green water snake is 76-140 cm (30-35 inches), including the tail.

Color and Appearance

The dorsal side of the snake’s body is dark green, brown, or olive, while the ventral side is 1/3 rd yellow in the front. The remaining part is brown with white or yellow semicircular patterns.

It has a distinctive row of scales between its eye and lip plates that differentiates it from other species of Nerodia. Its dorsal scales and keeled and anal plate is divided.

Are They Dangerous to Humans 

When approached, the snake flees for shelter. But when cornered, it doesn’t hesitate to strike. If pinned or grabbed, it readily bites in defense and releases a foul-smelling musk from a pair of glands at the base of its tail. Still, being non-aggressive and avoiding contact with humans, this species is not dangerous.

Green Water Snakes at a Glance


You will find it in the region extending from the Florida panhandle westwards to Louisiana and northwards through the Mississippi Valley to Southern Illinois. More precisely, you will find it in south-west Alabama, north-west Florida, south-west Indiana, southern Illinois, south-east Arkansas, western Kentucky, southern Mississippi, western Tennessee, Louisiana, south-east Missouri and south-east Texas.


The green water snake prefers still waters of lakes, bayous, marshes, ponds, swamps, and sluggish streams.

Green Water Snake Picture


On average, the snake lives for 15-30 years.


Large shore birds and other snakes.


It preys on frogs, fish, and crayfish.

Nerodia cyclopion


Ovoviviparous (the young hatches from eggs inside the body)

Green Water Snake Baby

The species mates on land in the month of April. Depending on the size of the female, the brood size varies between 7 and 101. The babies are born in July or August and are 25 cm (10 inches) long.


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