The Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) is a venomous snake found in the southeastern United States. The species is the snake of the genus Agkistrodon also is North America’s only venomous aquatic snake.
The 3 sub-species of cottonmouths are located in northeast Virginia, south through the Florida peninsula and west to Arkansas in eastern and southern Oklahoma, east and central Texas and west and west Georgia. Some inhabitants of cottonmouths have also been discovered off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts over the offshore islands.
The species scientific name derives from the Greek words ancistro (hooked) and odon (tooth), and by the Latin piscis (fish) and voro (to consume ), which translates basically into”hooked-tooth fish-eater”. The common titles consist of variants such as black moccasin, the water moccasin, swamp moccasin, gapper, or simply viper.
These common names often refer to this snake’s characteristic hazard screen, where they’ll often stand their ground and exposing the white inside of your mouth and gape at the perceived danger.
The adult cottonmouths often reach over 80 cm (31.5 inches) in length, females tend to be smaller than men. But sometimes, some specimens could attain 180 cm (71 inches) or more in length and weight 10 pounds, particularly in the eastern parts of their range.
The cottonmouth has a wide triangular-shaped head much broader than its own neck a typical look in vipers.Their colouration is extremely variable and the patterns on mature cottonmouths often become somewhat jaded, resulting in an almost entirely strong dark brownish to blackish color.
The snake’s underbelly is a paler colour and also yellow-brown blotches. Whereas the juvenile cottonmouths possess a colored pattern with quite distinctive markings.
The human body is a brownish base colour with reddish to brown bands using an hourglass form, the suggestion of the tail is more yellow and utilized to caudal luring.
Their aggressiveness was greatly exaggerated, they like to escape the majority of the moment. But if it feels threatened, the cottonmouth engages into an S-shape using its head back in a threat display that is characteristic and vibrate the tail and the mouth open to show the white interior making a loud hiss.
Their common names like”cottonmouth” and”gapper” refer particularly to this unique behaviour. Various other moves also include flattening the human body and emitting an extremely powerful, plump rectal secretion.
Can cottonmouth kill you?
The cottonmouth is a highly effective cytotoxic venom that destroys the tissue and can be considered more toxic than that of those Copperhead (A. contortrix). The sting symptoms include swelling, ecchymosis, and pain, and even though deaths are rare, the cottonmouth bite may leave scars and on occasion lead.
The cottonmouth is a ambush predator and the majority of its diet is made up of fish and cows. Nevertheless, the cottonmouth diet includes birds, mammals, other snakes, cicadas, caterpillars, land snails, little turtles and perhaps even little American alligators.
Cannibalism is also reported along with the species will sometimes eat carrion. The specimens feed invertebrates on occasion and also like the copperheads or youthful jararacas, youthful cottonmouths utilize their glowing tails to lure prey such as amphibians.When catfish are caught and eaten, their sharp spines occasionally cause harms.
The males will typically battle one another on ritualized combats for the right to mate with the females. The cottonmouth snake mates in the spring every 2-3 decades, and the gestation period lasts.
The young are born in August or even September and have a mean length of 8 to 14 inches (22–35 cm). The cottonmouth is ovoviviparous, and females give birth from even as many as 20 or 1 to 16 young.
Howeverthe average litter size is approximately 6 to 8 hatchlings. Females are reported to occasionally defend their litters that were newly produced.
The cottonmouth is classified as Least Concern species on the IUCN Red List, also due to the snake’s broad supply and presumed large population. The population trend was stable when it was assessed in 2007.
But drainage of wetland habitat for both growth and the persecution of those species has taken its toll on the population. The cottonmouth remains a species in many places. The cottonmouth is listed as an endangered species in Indiana.
There aren’t any subspecies currently recognized, but they differ both in their range and in skin pattern.
Florida cottonmouth (A. p. conanti) – Found in the united states, in extreme southern Georgia and just about all of Florida, including many islands off the coast.
Western cottonmouth (A. p. leucostoma) – Located in the US up north in Oklahoma, Illinois, Missouri and Indiana, along with south from Alabama along the Gulf of Mexico’s coast, including several coastal islands to southeastern and central Texas.
Eastern cottonmouth (A. p. piscivorus) – Located also only in the United States across Georgia and northeast to North and South Carolina in the Atlantic Coast including peninsulas and coastal islands.
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