broad-banded water snake title.gif (10704 bytes)

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broadbanded water snake1.jpg (253040 bytes)  Red Chute Bayou, Barksdale AFB, Bossier Parish, La.  Photo: Mike Monlezun

Common name: Broad-banded Water Snake
Generic name: Nerodia fasciata confluens (Blanchard)
Adult length: 22-36 inches;  record 45 in.
Complete range: extreme southern Illinois to central Texas and Gulf Coast.
see RANGE MAP for range in Louisiana

The broad banded water snake does not usually get very big.  Although the record is 62 inches, most are only around 3 feet.  They are found in all aquatic environments throughout the state except for salt marshes.  They do occasionally hybridize with the salt marsh snake (Nerodia clarkii) when the ranges overlap on the borders of salt marshes.   It is a very abundant snake within it's range and is frequently seen basking above or near slow moving water with plenty of vegetative cover.  Fish and frogs make up a major portion of the diet.

This broad banded water snake was photographed from a small boat in Red Chute Bayou in Bossier Parish.  It did not move and was eventually caught after the pictures were taken.  This photo does not do the snake justice as far as showing off the beautiful pattern and colors, but it does portray it in its natural setting. 


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State Checklist | Herping in LA | Links | Authors | State Maps