Mississippi Green Watersnake (Nerodia cyclopion)
Mississippi Green Watersnakes have a green to gray back and a dark-colored belly covered with pale yellow spots. This is the only Kentucky Watersnake species that has an additional row of scales between eye (ocular) and lip (labial) scales. Juveniles look similar to adults. Scales are keeled and the anal plate is divided.
Mississippi Green Watersnakes are typically 2.5 to 3 feet in total length.
Mississippi Green Watersnakes are only found in the far western part of Kentucky. They occur in the wetlands and sloughs along the Mississippi River.
Mating likely occurs in the spring and live young are born in the summer. They feed on fish and amphibians and can be seen basking on branches above water.
When first approached, Green Watersnakes will try to escape by entering the water. If captured, they will not hesitate to defend themselves. Typical defensive strategy includes releasing musk and biting. Mississippi Green Watersnakes are considered a “Species of Greatest Conservation Need” by Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, primarily due to their limited distribution.