The cottonmouth is a dark colored snake with a heavy body. It is normally found in lowland swamps, rivers, lakes, ditches, canals, rice fields, sloughs and mountain streams. It is usually born during the months of September and its range extends from Virginia south to upper Florida Keys, Illinois, Missouri and even Texas. The females mature within a period of 3 years and consequently give birth every year.
It bears an uncanny resemblance to the copperhead and sports a brown, olive or black colored body with a lighter belly and a bright yellow or lime greenish tail tip. Whenever it’s provoked or angered, it vibrates its tail furiously making a loud rattling sound. Cottonmouths have a triangular head with cat eye pupils and have a dark facial line which extends through the eye.
It prefers to lie still on wet banks, shores, rocks in order to await its prey. If it’s disturbed or not handled properly, the cottonmouth can be highly menacing. It will stand still and gape at the intruder, displaying the light cotton lining of its mouth. Despite being a water snake it can swim with its head out of the water. It feeds on sirens, frogs, snakes and birds.