Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti

Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti


Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti

The Florida cottonmouth is a species of venomous snake, a pitviper in the subfamily Crotalinae of the family Viperidae. The species is endemic to the United States, where it occurs in southern Georgia and the Florida peninsula in nearly every type of wetlands in the region, including brackish water and offshore islands. However, it is not entirely dependent on water and is occasionally encountered as far as a mile from surface water. Agkistrodon conanti venom is very hemolytic and known to cause relatively extensive necrosis compared to many snake venoms, and can sometimes be lethal with a 17% mortality rate.: 211 p.  It is often confused with harmless watersnakes and other semi-aquatic species with which it shares its habitat. It is a moderately large, thick bodied snake, adults averaging 30 to 48 inches in length, but rare individuals can exceed 6 feet . The head is marked with conspicuous black cheek stripes on each side, set off by light cream or white stripes above and below. The body is olive brown, dark brown, to black and with 10 to 17 dark bands. The dark bands are often darker at the edges but lighter with irregular markings or spotting in the center. The snakes often grow darker with age, and the banding and patterns can be obscure or absent on adults. It is a viviparous species, normally giving birth to 6 to 8 young, which bear the same pattern as adults but are clay-red or "red dirt" in color. It was first described in the late 1960s as a subspecies, Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti, however molecular research published in 2015 justified elevating it to a full species.: 215-225 p. : 249-274 p. : 193-215 p. : 437-438 p. 

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