Broad-banded Water Snake
Nerodia fasciata

Size:  2 - 3 ft
Distribution

Extreme southeastern counties of the state.  The broadbanded water snake may be found near any permanent water source with thick vegetation, such as ponds, lakes, and sloughs. The broadbanded water snake is most likely to be confused with the venomous cottonmouth, but lacks the robust body and large triangular head of the cottonmouth. Like all water snakes, they are found near water, but may wander far from water in search of food, which includes fish, frogs, salamanders, and crustaceans.

*NOTE- The eyes are normally clear, but this snake is getting ready to shed. The eyes turn a milky, cloudy blue (called opaque) as the snake's outer skin begins to die, and the new skin underneath secretes an oily substance to loosen the dead outer skin, almost like a natural lotion or conditioner. Once ready to shed, the eyes turn clear again, and the snake will usually shed within 24 hours, revealing a fresh new skin that is much more brillian in color and pattern. The oily secretion may sometimes contain a pheromone signaling that the snake is ready to breed.

Banding pattern of the broadbanded water snake.