Agkistrodon piscivorus Cottonmouth

They are called cottonmouth for their fluffy white mouth insides that they show out when threatened


They are called cottonmouth for their fluffy white mouth insides that they show out when threatened


Commonly referred to as the water moccasin, it is a species of snake known for its semi-aquatic lifestyle and potent venom. These reptiles are predominantly found in the southeastern United States, inhabiting various aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

During the warmer months, cottonmouths are often found in swamps, marshes, wetlands, and along the banks of lakes and rivers. They are well adapted to aquatic environments, where they are skilled swimmers and can often be observed swimming with their heads above the water’s surface, earning them their distinctive nickname.

Despite their preference for watery habitats, cottonmouths are also known to venture into upland areas, especially during the spring and fall seasons. They are highly adaptable and can thrive in a range of environments, from dense forests to open grasslands.

Cottonmouths are solitary creatures, typically maintaining a relatively small home range throughout their lives. They are opportunistic hunters, preying on a variety of animals, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and small mammals. Using their potent venom, cottonmouths incapacitate their prey before consuming it, often employing constriction to subdue larger prey items.

Despite their fearsome reputation, the population of cottonmouths appears to be stable across their range, and they are not currently listed as endangered or threatened species. However, like many other snake species, they face threats from habitat loss, pollution, and human persecution.


Population est.
United States

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No