Western Cottonmouth

Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma

Western Cottonmouth Western Cottonmouth
Photo by Robert Rold Photography Photo by Robert Rold Photography

Description:  The Western Cottonmouth ranges in size from 2.5-4.5 feet.  Coloration is black with some faint cross markings on the back.  Belly is dark brown to black.  Scales are weakly keeled and anal plate is divided.  Pupils of the eyes are vertical.  A heat-sensing pit is located between the eye and nostril.  Juveniles are strongly patterned with a yellow tail.

Habitat:  Found in wetland areas such as swamps and sloughs.

Behavior:  The Western Cottonmouth is venomous.  Cottonmouths have the habitat of opening the mouth and displaying the strikingly white inner lining of the mouth when disturbed.

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