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Posted by spilotes on December 16, 2002 at 22:43:08:
In Reply to: Re: Water snakes posted by Pierson on December 09, 2002 at 21:10:23:
Are florida greens really the biggest (on average)? A few years back I swam after a group on Diamondbacks in an Arkansas rice field that were the biggest watersnakes I've ever seen. They were also apparently smarter than I was since they all escaped. They seemed to know exactly when to dive and exactly where their holes were along the bank. Some locals gathered around and nearly had me commited. The watersnakes get concentrated in the low ends of the rice fields when they drain them prior to harvest. Lots of nerodia and water moccasins. But anyway, I guessed their length at over 5 foot conservatively - is that possible? The greens we saw in southern Ark earlier were never over 3.5 foot.
:What is the biggest type of water snake that is easy to buy?
:Well...I wouldn't say any water snakes are easy to buy. Most are wildcaught adults and can only be found from a few large dealers (try Glades Herp). Florida Watersnakes (N. fasciata pictiventris) are the most commonly offered and they get 3-4 feet.
:As for size, Florida Green Watersnakes(Nerodia floridana) are the largest on average and break 4 feet regularly. They aren't often found on many dealers lists but I'm sure some of the south Florida dealers could get you some pretty easily and cheaply. Other large watersnakes sometimes seen are the Brown (N. taxispilota) and the Diamondback (N. rhombifer).
:If you're going for CB, Mangroves Salt Marsh Watersnakes have recently began popping up in some numbers, mostly through the work of John Decker. They rarely get bigger than 3 feet however.
:Let us know if you get any Nerodia. Always wanting to add members to our cult.