Blotched Water Snake

Nerodia erythrogaster ‘transversa’
(Forster, 1771)
Webaunsee Co., Kansas. May 19, 2004.

My first transversa came from a small Kansas pond. I approached the bank slowly, keeping my eyes peeled for a serpentine form along the water’s edge or in the water. Sure enough, there was a young adult blotched water snake in the shallows about four feet out. The mud and muck were pretty thick – I wouldn’t get close very easily, and the snake would take off quickly anyway. What to do? I slowly reached out with my snake hook held under the surface, slipped it underneath the midsection and then pulled the snake ashore, where I made a quick grab. Rarely do I ever need to use a snake hook (it’s more of a walking stick and a camera monopod), so I got some smug satisfaction out my maneuver. Too bad there was nobody around to impress!

Note: The long-standing subspecies for the plain-bellied water snake (Nerodia erythrogaster) have been sunk, making this a life-list artifact that I chose to retain for historical purposes.

My Flickr album for this species is here.

HerpMapper records for this species are here.

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