Northern Water Snake
Nerodia sipedon
The Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon) is common across most the eastern half of the United States and parts of southeast Canada. It inhabits lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams of many sizes. It is not venomous, but can be a fairly aggressive animal and will readily bite. This species is often mistaken as a "water moccasin" which is simply not true, but such myths are hard to break among many people. Northern Water Snakes feed on frogs, fish, and anything else they might be able to catch and overpower. The one shown here was resting on a floating log in the Wapsipinicon River in Black Hawk Co., Iowa, in July, 2004. It was photographed with a Canon EOS 1D Mark II and EF 300mm F/4 L IS lens and 2X extender.