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Could someone please tell me if this is a cotton mouth? Found 2 on my back porch, one got away.

Location: Fayetteville, AR (USA) [Note: there are several ponds nearby]

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Hi, for a better identification, please read the recommendation in the species-identification tag wiki here $\endgroup$ – рüффп May 19 at 6:51
  • $\begingroup$ Where on the world is your back porch? $\endgroup$ – Arsak May 19 at 8:28
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The head does not look triangular or big enough to be a cottonmouth. The few times I have encountered cottonmouths in my yard they have been very calm , do not scurry off quickly. ID depends on where you are : here in E Tex it could be a green water snake or a yellow-belly water snake. Is there water nearby ? If not , maybe a rat snake. I did kill a cotton mouth once by mistake ; It looked like a green water snake that eats fish in my ponds. The greens disappear fast so I hit it before I could look at it closely. Too late I saw it was a cotton mouth ( which do not like small ponds so rarely come here).

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  • $\begingroup$ I live in Fayetteville, AR. Yes there are several ponds nearby, which is where we usually see cotton mouths. Rarely do they venture into our back yard. $\endgroup$ – Kimberly Bell May 19 at 15:31
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This is not a cottonmouth, it's Nerodia rhombifer, a diamondback water snake. It's nonvenomous and important for the ecosystem. Given that the water snakes compete with cottonmouths, it's important to not kill them to keep their populations high and not make room for cottonmouth populations to grow.

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Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

  • $\begingroup$ I had a diamond back water snake in my pond; He was much lighter in color , tan with brown "diamonds" . $\endgroup$ – blacksmith37 May 21 at 21:20
  • $\begingroup$ Not certain why this post was downvoted given that it is the correct answer. Perhaps the downvoter doesn't believe in mutually-respectful dialogue. That's a shame. $\endgroup$ – Chris Moore May 25 at 17:02

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