THE OKEFENOKEE SWAMP
METROPOLITAN  NATURALIST
OKEFENOKEE SWAMP, GEORGIA              Page 5
April, 2009
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Banded Water Snake
Banded Water Snake
Banded Water Snake
Banded Water Snakes (Nerodia fasciata)
Peninsula Ribbon Snake
Peninsula Ribbon Snake
Peninsula Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus sackeni)
The banded water snakes (Nerodia fasciata fasciata and Nerodia fasciata pictiventris) are very common. While they are
most active at night, they are often seen in the day time basking in the sun or swimming in the ditches or swamps. The
bands on the snake's back fade as the snake matures, and older adults may be almost solid black or dark brown with
only faint remnants of the bands. Banded water snakes eat fish, frogs, and salamanders. These snakes and other water
snakes are non-poisonous, but are often mistaken for the venomous water moccasin (
Agkistrodon piscivorus). There are
6 species of harmless water snakes (
Nerodia species and Regina species) found in the Okefenokee.

There are 30 or more species of snakes in the Okefenokee. Most snakes in the Okefenokee are harmless, but there are
five species of poisonous snakes found here. These poisonous snakes include the Water Moccasin or Florida
Cottonmouth (
Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti), Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus), Timber or
Canebreak Rattlesnake (
Crotalus horridus atricaudatus), Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius barbouri), and
Coral Snake (
Micrurus fulvius fulvius).
The peninsula ribbon snake is an active fast moving snake that is usually found near water. There are two yellow stripes
running down the sides of the snake. Another faint yellowish line often runs down the center of the back. These
non-poisonous snakes eat fish, frogs, and salamanders.

Ribbon snakes are often seen on sunny days basking on shrubs overhanging the water.
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