Northern Water Snake

Nerodia sipedon sipedon

Northern water snakeNH Conservation Status: Not listed

State Rank Status: Widespread and secure

Distribution: Throughout NH except far north

Description: A dark, heavily blotched snake measuring 24-42 inches. Has a brown or grayish base color with numerous brown or black blotches or bands. The belly has black or red half-moon shapes that vary in pattern and arrangement.

Commonly Confused Species: Timber rattlesnake, milk snake; water moccasin or cottonmouth (not a NH species)


Habitat: Found in aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats such as streams, ponds, swamps, and marshes. Often uses logs or branches overhanging the water for basking. Rarely found far from water.

Life History: From August to October gives birth to 20-40 live young. During winter hibernates underwater or in holes near water.

Conservation Threats: Loss and degradation of wetland habitats; anything that results in reduced amphibian populations.

Distribution Map