Diamond-backed Watersnake (Nerodia rhombifer)
Diamond-backed Watersnakes are large, stocky snakes identified by dark, diamond-shaped blotches on their back and sides. Their background color is usually brown, but can range from yellowish to greenish. Their belly is light yellow with dark, half-moon shaped spots. Their scales are keeled and the anal plate is divided.
Most adults are approximately 3 feet in total length.
Diamond-backed Watersnakes are found in the Jackson Purchase and western Kentucky coalfields. They can be found within or around any permanent, aquatic habitat (i.e. ponds, rivers, lakes, etc.).
Diamond-backed Watersnakes mate in spring and give birth to up to 50 live young in the late summer. Fish, especially catfish, make up a large part of the diet of these snakes.
Similar to other Watersnakes, Diamond-backed Watersnakes will bite and expel a pungent musk when handled.