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Copperbelly Water Snakes and Its Habitat. By: Matt Tekulve. Simi-Aquatic and Aquatic Snakes. Queen Snake Garter Snake Northern Brown Water Snake Cottonmouth Diamondback Water Snake Midland Water Snake Red, Yellow and Copperbelly Water Snake.

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simi aquatic and aquatic snakes
Simi-Aquaticand Aquatic Snakes
  • Queen Snake
  • Garter Snake
  • Northern Brown Water Snake
  • Cottonmouth
  • Diamondback Water Snake
  • Midland Water Snake
  • Red, Yellow and Copperbelly Water Snake
adult identification copperbelly water snake nerodia erythrogaster neglecta
Adult IdentificationCopperbelly Water Snake Nerodia erythrogaster neglecta
  • Adult- Solid dark to black dorsal surface with a bright red to orange belly that extends to the chin
  • Length is between 3 to 5 feet Record 62 in


juvenile identification
Juvenile Identification
  • Juvenile’s are strongly blotched and banded similar to other juvenile water snakes
similar species
Similar Species
  • Many times the Copperbelly may be misidentified for:
  • Northern Brown Water Snake
  • Cottonmouth
  • Midland Water Snake
  • Red and Yellowbelly water snake
types of habitats
Types of Habitats


  • Wetlands
  • Uplands
  • Wintering
types of wetlands
Types of Wetlands

Floodplain Forest

Shrub Swamp

Undulating Shore line

Shallow Open Water

Ephemeral Wetland

upland habitat
Upland Habitat
  • Copperbelly Water Snakes can travel Hundreds of yards from wetlands mostly in hot months
  • Travel, Shedding, birthing, digestion, refuge
wintering habitat
Wintering Habitat
  • Copperbelly Water Snakes

Hibernate in Crayfish Burrows

Late October to April

  • Copperbelly Water Snakes are Simi-Aquatic
  • Average seasonal Home Range is 20 ha (50 acres)
  • Use 3-5 wetlands regularly
  • Can not be intimidating
  • Riparian Buffer Strips
  • Short Upland Forest
  • Seasonal Wetlands
  • North Range- Ohio (Williams Co.) and Michigan (Hillsdale Co.)
  • South Range- SE Illinois, S. Indiana,

W Tenn., NW Kentucky

endangered species list
Endangered Species List
  • Listed as an Endangered Species in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio
  • Are Protected under Federal Law
  • No killing of snakes Intentionally or unintentionally
cpperbelly water snake conservation agreement
Cpperbelly Water Snake Conservation Agreement
  • Formed in 1997 In Illinois and Kentucky
  • Remove Threats to its existence
  • Cooperation of Private and Public Parties
cpperbelly water snake conservation agreement16
Cpperbelly Water Snake Conservation Agreement
  • To do this the state of Kentucky had to:
  • Describe the status of the Copperbelly
  • Why Protection was needed
  • Outline the Conservation Agreement
  • Address the Accomplishments and Weaknesses of the Conservation Agreement
natural predators
Natural Predators
  • Large Fish
  • Snapping Turtles
  • Herons
  • Hawks
  • Foxes
  • Raccoons
  • Opossums
  • Minks
  • Skunks
  • Domestic Dogs, Cats and Hogs
human as predator management problems
Human as Predator: Management Problems
  • Loss of Habitat and Fragmentation
  • Wetland Drainage
  • Wetland Filling
  • Wetland Deepening
  • Agriculture Purposes
  • Surface mining
  • Water Quality
  • Pet Trade
management and conservation practices
Management and Conservation Practices
  • Shallow Ephemeral and Permanent Wetlands
  • Wetlands in close proximity
  • Natural Corridors
  • Stock native amphibian eggs No Fish!
  • Upland, Forested areas to be minimum Timber Harvest
  • Restrict Vehicles and Heavy Equipment
  • Hibernation habitat
  • Edge from Cropland (Buffer Strips)
  • 10-20 feet
  • Bush hogging, mowing and other maintenance should be done in the winter
  • Minimize use of crop and lawn Fertilizers, oil, paints, and other toxic chemicals
ways to help
Ways to Help
  • Learn about endangered species and their Habitat
  • Protect the habitat
  • Educate others