Banded Water Snake
Nerodia fasciata fasciata

Family: Natricidae - Harmless Live-Bearing Snakes

Typical Adult Size: 24 to 42 inches

Reproduction: live bearing

Eye Pupil: round

Dorsal Scales: keeled

Anal Scale: divided

SC Range Map

Additional Images

The Banded Water Snake is the South Carolina subspecies of a species of nonvenomous watersnakes known as the Southern Water Snake. Southern Water Snakes are found in the southern states from North Carolina to Texas.

Adults are typically 2 to 3 feet in length. Southern Water Snakes typically have a darker stripe from the eye angling slightly downward to the end of the jaw. These snakes often darken with age and obscure the band marking on the back and sides.

There are three subspecies: Nerodia fasciata fasciata, Nerodia fasciata pictiventris, and Nerodia fasciata confluens.

Nerodia fasciata fasciata is commonly called the Banded Water Snake. The Banded is the subspecies that occurs in South Carolina. Bandeds are found in the coastal plain regions from North Carolina to Mississippi, excepting pennisular Flordia. This species sometimes hybridizes with the
Northern Water Snakes in areas where their ranges meet.

Nerodia fasciata confluens is called the Broad-banded Water Snake and is found in coastal Mississippi, all of Louisianna, eastern Texas, southern and eastern Arkansas, extreme southeast Oklahoma, and portions of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Missouri close to the Mississippi River.

In areas where the ranges of Bandeds and Broad-bandeds meet, there is intergrade of these subspecies.

Nerodia fasciata pictiventris is called the Florida Water Snake and is found in pennisular Florida. Also, an isolated population is reported in the southeastern tip of Texas.

Additional Images:

Banded Water Snake,
Nerodia fasciata fasciata
adult, head
young adult
immature, dark phase, approx. 17.3 inches
Return to top of page

Return to SC Snake Index

July 07, 2009
Contact: South Carolina Reptiles and Amphibians

Return to top of page