The list of snakes in Florida is a long one. Some you would expect from the region
of the United States and others that were introduced to the state. Most snakes in
Florida are water snakes at some point or another. There is a lot of water in Florida
and most snakes can swim.
However, there are few that spend more of their time in water than out of it. One of them is the Banded Water snake also called the southern Bradenton water snake. It likes to hang out in freshwater streams, lakes or ponds. The Brown Water snake likes to hand out in rivers, swamps and flooded areas. The Blackswamp snake is another that likes freshwater. The Midland Water snake only shows up occasionally. It can be found in Florida, but it is rare.
Unfortunately, there are some snakes that like the water in Florida that are not native to the state. They were brought in as exotic snake pets, and then released into the Florida Everglades, which has become a type of dumping ground for these pet Bradenton snakes when people do not want them anymore. One of these is the African Rock python, which is the largest species of snake in Africa. Not really a water snake, the African Rock python can swim if necessary. This snake is the species of snake that killed two boys in 2013 after escaping from a pet shop in Canada. It is considered extremely dangerous.
Another is the Burmese python, another one of the largest species of Bradenton snake on the planet. This snake’s population in the Florida Everglades has gotten so big that the state sponsors people to hunt them. They have been known to fight with alligators and win. On April 5, 2015, the New York Times wrote an article entitled “The Snake that is Eating Florida.” The Burmese python is responsible for eating a lot of the population of rabbits, foxes and other animals native to the Everglades, endangering the ecosystem.
Fortunately, none of these Bradenton snakes are classified as venomous. Florida has 6 types of poisonous snakes but only two are thought of as “water snakes.” The Cottonmouth, also known as the Water Moccasin, spends most of its life in and around the water. It swims during the night, and then basks near the water during the day to warm itself. The other snake really isn’t a water snake, but is thought of as one. This is the Copperhead. It lives in a variety of places, even in Northern New Mexico, but because of the places it is found in Florida, most people commonly mistake it for a water snake. There are 46 varieties of snakes that are native to Florida. You may want to consider that on your next visit.
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