Mississippi Green Water Snake

Nerodia cyclopion
(Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854)
Union Co., Illinois. October 8, 1977.

The swampy lowlands along the Shawnee Escarpment in southern Illinois are the northernmost toehold for this Coastal Plain snake. They are protected there and elsewhere in Illinois, a good thing because they are restricted to a few remaining low and wet places, although N. cyclopion can be very common in suitable habitat further south along the Mississippi Delta. I saw a huge cyclopion on my first trip to LaRue-Pine Hills, but further sightings have been sporadic – on some visits, I see none, while other times, they are encountered in good numbers. One fall Steve Coogan and I walked up and down the famous Snake Road twice (ten miles) without seeing a blessed snake; arriving at last back at the truck, we found a Mississippi Green basking under a front tire!

My Flickr album for this species is here.

HerpMapper records for this species are here.

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