Range: Mostly western TN, common
Habitat: Almost always near ponded
or slow moving water (swamps, lakes, and rivers) except when denning (on
hillsides above the water). Commonly basks, swims on surface of water.
Behavior: Often considered
erroneously to be aggressive; usually does not flee as readily as most other
snakes when threatened; coils in a circle andgapes, exposing the white inner lining of the mouth. Vibrates tail to produce rattling sound when provoked and produces a strong musk.
Diet: Fish (primarily); also frogs, salamanders, snakes, lizards, small turtles, baby alligators, birds, and small mammals. Kills prey w/ venom.
Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus