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Old 04-19-2010, 09:45 PM   #1
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Default Need ID Help Please

Found this snake near my school last year. Another teacher saw it today and was scared.Apparently a resident told him it was a water moccasin. Water moccasins are not found in NJ, but I could not convince the other teacher or the resident of this fact.

Here are a couple photos. I have an idea what it is, but want to hear from some of the experts out there.
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Need ID Help Please-snake-belly.jpg   Need ID Help Please-snake-close-up.jpg   Need ID Help Please-kellys-snake2.jpg   Need ID Help Please-snake-belly2.jpg  
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:40 PM   #2
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Hi Bridget,

The ventral pattern looks like Nerodia Spidon, which is a common water snake in much of the United States. The cottonmouth does not occur in NJ at all, has slit-like eyes, and opens its mouth and displays venomous fangs when disturbed.

"Often, the non-venomous northern water snake is misidenti- fied as the water moccasin (cottonmouth) which does not occur in. New Jersey"
http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/ensp/pdf/snake_broch07.pdf

You may want to print that and highlight those words to reassure the teacher. That's a document your state has put out.

And if the person looks here, he or she can verify the northern range of the cottonmouth is Virginia.
http://www.jstor.org/pss/1564989

Hope that Helps!
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:42 PM   #3
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Prolly not a water moccasin, it might be a garter snake. They are wild and they can bite, but they don't have fangs with poisonous venom.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:18 PM   #4
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Sorry Eric.... It's definitely not a garter snake with patterns like that...
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:39 PM   #5
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I figured it was a northern water snake, especially since I found it near the swamp near my school. I just wanted 'expert' advice from all of you.

The other teacher went back to the swamp today and saw it again, found where it is living and saw a small 'baby' swimming in the water! The websites all say they give birth to live young, so that is so cool.

Thank you everybody.
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