Western Cottonmouth Snake
Facts about Western Cottonmouth snakes. scientific name for Western Cottonmouth snake is Agkistrodon Piscivorous Luecostoma". The Western Cottonmouth is a venomous pit viper subspecies found in south central United States. Its and it also possesses other common names such as cottonmouth, water moccasin and many others. The viper derived its “cottonmouth” name from the fact that it opens its mouth as a warning to its predators.
The Western Cottonmouth snakes are small in length with the longest western cottonmouth to be recorded being 62 inches (157 cm). Their lengths vary but the average length has been recorded to be 27 1/2 inches (69.8 cm). When young, the species possess dark cross bands which are 10 to 15 in number. The cross bands might also be present in some adults. The Western Cottonmouth snake have a flat broad head, copious body, slender tail, cat like eyes and possess a heat sensing pit which is located between the nostril and the eye.
Western Cottonmouths use their tails for hunting. The color of their tail tip changes as they mature. When young, the vipers have a bright or faded yellow tail tip which they use to attract their prey to a striking distance. In their sub adults’ stage, the tail tip changes to a greenish yellow color and finally to black once they get to the maturity stage. There is no resemblance between the young Western Cottonmouth snakes and the adults. However, they do resemble young Copperheads.
The vipers spend a large part of their life in water and can live in any water environment such as: ponds, rivers, lakes, and streams with a low current flow and swamps. The Western Cottonmouth snake have a wide variety of preys many of which live in the water. Their food include: salamander, turtles, fish, frogs, birds, water snakes, small mammals, birds and their eggs.
Western Cottonmouth snake's tails vibrate and squirt a resilient smelling musk when faced with danger. The glands that are located near the cloaca are responsible for producing the musk which they use to chase away predators. The Western Cottonmouth snake tend to fear humans and will run away to safety when humans approach. Another tactic that they use to hide from their predators and humans is to lie motionless on the ground till the danger disappears. The Western Cottonmouth snake can also blend in with the environment as a way of hiding from their predators. Though the Western Cottonmouth snakes tend fear humans, they can be dangerous when provoked. Research indicates that the snakes’ bite is very painful and poses a health risk to humans. Their bites also cause great discomfort to the victims. Experts advise urgent medical attention when bitten by the Western Cottonmouth snake.
The gestation period of the Western Cottonmouth snake is 160 to 170 days. The mating season is usually in summer. The females take two to three years to mature. The Western Cottonmouth snake’s reproductive activity can occur at any stage of the vipers’ development. The females have the ability to store sperms for several months in their oviducts and can give birth to up to 16 snakes.
The Western Cottonmouth snake is commonly found in the United States. The places include offshore islands, central Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Southeastern Nebraska, Southeastern, the Gulf of Mexico, southern Alabama and Oklahoma.