Nerodia erythrogaster
Plain-bellied Water Snake
Protected- Do Not Harass or Collect these animals!

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Other Names:
Subspecies: Blotched Watersnake Nerodia erythrogaster transversa
Description: A dull heavy bodied snake with prominently keeled scales. It has large dorsal blotches or saddles darker than body background color edged with black or dark brown.
Similar Species: No other snake in New Mexico has a plain yellow belly and heavily keeled scales. The young, with the prominent alternating dorsal and lateral blotches and keeled scales, are not easily confused with any other species.
Venom: None
Habitat: Found in swamps, marshes, ponds or springs.
Behavior: When startled will swim to the bottom of location of water. May be seen basking near water. Highly aquatic. Rarely ventures from water. If caught will bite and expel a foul smelling secretion on attacker.
Reproduction: Live bearing and will give birth to between 8 and 46 young.
Diet: Forges on crawfish, small salamanders, frogs, toads, tadpoles and small mammals.
Authored by: Garth Teitjen