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]
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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).
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.