Florida's Snakes thumbnail photo of snake identification guide cover

Mississippi Green Watersnake
(Nerodia cyclopion)


solid-colored icon

Mississippi Green Watersnake

photo of Mississippi green watersnake showing speckled olive body and belly marked with half-moon shapes

Photo by J. MacGregor. This photo may not be used for any purpose without the express written permission of the photographer.


Usually 2.5–3.5 ft. (max. ~4 ft.)


Body is dark olive to brown; younger snakes may be marked with light and dark speckles. It is nearly identical in appearance to the Florida Green Watersnake, but its yellowish-gray belly is marked with half-moon shapes. Scales have obvious lengthwise ridges (keels). This snake gives birth to live young (does not lay eggs). This snake is similar in appearance to some other watersnakes but is only found in the extreme western panhandle of Florida, so be sure to check the range map for help with identification. Like other watersnakes, it is sometimes mistaken for the venomous Cottonmouth but is thinner and has round eye pupils.


Found only in the extreme western panhandle in freshwater habitats, especially in bottomland forests, cypress swamps, and sloughs


Small crabs, fish, frogs, toads, salamanders

map showing Mississippi green watersnakes are only found in the extreme western panhandle in Florida

Map by Monica E. McGarrity - may be used freely for education.

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