Brown Watersnake Conservation - Least Concern
Scientific Name
Nerodia taxispilota
Southeast Virginia
Also Known As
Water Pilot, Pied Watersnake
Brown with 25 Square Blotches
Catfish, Crayfish, Lizards, Frogs
Litter Size
30 - 40 per Birth
Life Span
9 Years
30 - 60 Inches

Quick Links for Brown Watersnake

Brown Watersnake

Brown Watersnake Description

Brown Watersnake Appearance

This snake may look similar to the Northern Watersnake but the coloration and patterns are different. This snake, as it’s name suggests has a brown body, but has chocolate brown square blotches.

These blotches can sometimes be thinner in the middle making a somewhat “H” shape to them.

Their chin will be a darker brown, and belly will be a cream color.


This snake is usually between 30 to 60 inches long, however, the record length for this snake is about 69.5 inches. The record found in Virginia is 68.7 inches.

Juveniles tend to be 11 inches long.

Brown Watersnake

This snake’s main color is a dark brown with cream belly

Brown Watersnake Behavior

These snakes are excellent swimmers, who prefer to catch fish in the water to hunt rather than to go out in land. Due to their main diet of catfish, they tend to frequent the bottom of rivers rather than the surface. On a warm summers day they can be seen on vegetation or snags on the river, as they are excellent climbers.
These snakes if startled or threatened will prefer to go into the water rather than to bite. But if cornered or picked up they will strike with a painful bite. Be careful to approach them in a boat if they are perching as they may try to escape and accidentally fall into your boat.

It is illegal in Virginia to keep Wild Snakes as pets

Range and Habitat of The Brown Watersnake


These can be found in Southeast Virginia, and can extend up to the Richmond area. Virginia, is their most northern range, while Mobile Alabama is their most western. These can be found in all of Florida all the way to Miami.


They can be found in swamps and streams.

Brown Watersnake Map Range

They can be found in the rivers of Southeast Virginia

Diet of Brown Watersnake

Their diet mainly consists of catfish, but they may also feed on crayfish, small lizards, and frogs.

Reproduction and Young


These snakes prefer to mate away from the water, and on land or preferably, tree branches. Mating season for these snakes start in the Spring.

Eggs and Young

These snakes do not lay eggs but rather birth them live, they give birth usually in August.

Juveniles will have the same coloration and patterns as the adults. At birth the snake are measured at 7 to 11 inches long.

Brown Watersnake

Juvenile’s patterns are much more apparent as shown here

Snake Problems?

Call Us for a Free Inspection
Schedule Appointment