Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri?????????

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sonorandesertman
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Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri?????????

Post by sonorandesertman » May 23rd, 2011, 4:42 am

I moved to Mid Missourir (ie. Columbia Missouri) 6 years ago from Phoenix Arizona. The people around here believe there are cottonmouths in the water around here. I don't believe it because of two reasons. First, every time I go out I see lots of water snakes but not a trace of cottons. Second, I also heard they are in southern Missouri (Lake of the Ozarks) and not here (Department of Conservation). One more reason...the people around here call the yellow bellied or Blue Racers "Black Snakes." They do this in reference to the Black Rat Snakes too and don't differentiate.

I believe I am right here. Can someone who is more expert please comment and verify what I am saying....or shoot me down...whatever it takes. I want to get to the bottom of this.

Thanks in advance for any comments I receive.

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KingCam
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by KingCam » May 23rd, 2011, 6:07 am

I live in KC, MO and everyone here swears up and down there are cotton mouths in their lake/pond/steam/marsh. They are mistaken. Cottonmouths only occur in the southern ~1/3 of the state. Just yesterday (no joke) my girlfriends uncle was telling me how they saw a 6' water moccasin at Lake Lotawana (way way way out of range) :roll:

There are no cottonmouths in Columbia, MO

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Andrew G
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by Andrew G » May 23rd, 2011, 6:39 am

Here's a pretty good link for their range in Missouri... http://atlas.moherp.org/taxon/?Agkistrodon_piscivorus


I hear from people all the time that they are "all over the place" here in Wichita, KS too. Any decent sized snake near a body of water is a "water moccasin" to a lot of people!

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KingCam
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by KingCam » May 23rd, 2011, 7:02 am

Andrew G wrote:I hear from people all the time that they are "all over the place" here in Wichita, KS too. Any decent sized snake near a body of water is a "water moccasin" to a lot of people!
Yep, and everything else is a copperhead :roll: :lol:

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Mike VanValen
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by Mike VanValen » May 23rd, 2011, 7:10 am

KingCam wrote: Yep, and everything else is a copperhead :roll: :lol:
Except in Delaware, where they call Northern Watersnakes "Copperheads".

sonorandesertman
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by sonorandesertman » May 23rd, 2011, 7:36 am

Thanks everyone. :thumb: I pretty much knew I was right and usually correct people when they say they saw a cottonmouth. However, when an elderly man yesterday said his neighbor found one in his pond I just said "OH" and that was it. I wanted to make 100% certain that I am right. It's no wonder the fear of snakes is so prevalent........most people don't know a thing about them. I will now proceed with telling everyone in the city of Columbia that there are no cottonmouths here. :crazyeyes: :beer:

Paul White
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by Paul White » May 23rd, 2011, 8:42 am

Apparently we have them in the TX panhandle too :roll:
God don't I wish. People think any aquatic snake is eitehr a garter or a cottonmouth I guess

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KingCam
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by KingCam » May 23rd, 2011, 8:46 am

sonorandesertman wrote:...and usually correct people when they say they saw a cottonmouth. However, when an elderly man yesterday said his neighbor found one in his pond I just said "OH" and that was it.
"Oh yeah?" is about all I ever say anymore to remarks about vicious cottonmouths, 5 ft copperheads, 12 ft rattlesnakes, and alligator snapping turtles in farm ponds :roll: :lol:
sonorandesertman wrote:It's no wonder the fear of snakes is so prevalent........most people don't know a thing about them.
The level of ignorance displayed by 95% of the population when it comes to snakes is astounding.
sonorandesertman wrote:I will now proceed with telling everyone in the city of Columbia that there are no cottonmouths here.
Good luck with that. :lol: :crazyeyes:

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Matt.O
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by Matt.O » May 23rd, 2011, 11:45 am

sonorandesertman wrote:Thanks everyone. :thumb: I pretty much knew I was right and usually correct people when they say they saw a cottonmouth. However, when an elderly man yesterday said his neighbor found one in his pond I just said "OH" and that was it. I wanted to make 100% certain that I am right. It's no wonder the fear of snakes is so prevalent........most people don't know a thing about them. I will now proceed with telling everyone in the city of Columbia that there are no cottonmouths here. :crazyeyes: :beer:

You're quite right in your thinking, Most Missourians call and treat any snake in the water as water moccasin or cottonmouths BUT never say never. I would have said the same thing if it wasnt for the Cottonmouth that bit a kid who was snake hunting along the river at jefferson barracks in St. louis MO on April 19 1995. He thought it was like all the other water snakes and grabbed it. He lived closeby and after questioning at the hospital members from St.Louis Herp society went to the spot and collected an adult Cottonmouth. It now resides in a collection i believe at either UMSL or KU.

Missouri Herpetological society has some great resources and maps. Look at the natural division map the St. louis county record map is so far out of place to indicate maybe released or displaced snakes from the 1993 flood.

http://atlas.moherp.org/taxon/?Agkistrodon_piscivorus

Matt

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Mark Brown
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by Mark Brown » May 23rd, 2011, 3:55 pm

KingCam wrote:The level of ignorance displayed by 95% of the population when it comes to snakes is astounding.
The level of ignorance displayed by 95% of the population when it comes to ANYTHING is astounding. :mrgreen:

Coluber Constrictor
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by Coluber Constrictor » May 23rd, 2011, 4:14 pm

Most people have no idea there even is such a thing as a nonvenomous water snake. You have to remember, most people don't spend much time looking at snake books like we do :lol:

paulschumann
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by paulschumann » May 23rd, 2011, 4:52 pm

guide to the snakes of trailer park armerica

Black Snake (yes, they're black)
Hoop snake (bite their tails and roll down hills to escape)
water moccasin (any and all snakes in or near water)
gardner snake (why can't anyone but a reptile expert say garter snake?)
garden snake (again...say it with me folks GARR - TERR)
rattle snake (at least they get one specie right some of the time)
copperhead (when actually found, always turns out to me something other than a copperhead)
milksnake (any snake found near cows)
coral snake (any snake with red on it)

sonorandesertman
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by sonorandesertman » May 24th, 2011, 4:40 am

Coluber Constrictor wrote:Most people have no idea there even is such a thing as a nonvenomous water snake. You have to remember, most people don't spend much time looking at snake books like we do :lol:

Good one dude. Very true.


Also, love the guide to the snakes of trailer park America Paulschumann.

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Brandon D
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by Brandon D » May 24th, 2011, 7:57 am

There once was an isolated population of cottonmouths that Paul Anderson found back in the early 1900's that was north of the mo river in livingston county Tom Johnson didnt think they were still there though, But I too here all the time about some one stumbling on cottonmouths when they go fishing, I cringe everytime I here some one talk about snakes who knows nothing, I had someone argue with me that snakes didnt have bones once.

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lepidus61
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by lepidus61 » May 24th, 2011, 9:02 am

I had no idea that there are so many "Professional Herpetologist" in MO.

Clark :shock:

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KingCam
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by KingCam » May 24th, 2011, 9:36 am

lepidus61 wrote:I had no idea that there are so many "Professional Herpetologist" in MO.
I'm confused, who are you quoting/referring to when you say "Professional Herpetologist" ???

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lepidus61
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by lepidus61 » May 24th, 2011, 10:07 am

KingCam wrote:
lepidus61 wrote:I had no idea that there are so many "Professional Herpetologist" in MO.
I'm confused, who are you quoting/referring to when you say "Professional Herpetologist" ???
"One more reason people around here call the yellow bellied or blue racer balck snake."

" The level of ignorance displayed by 95% of the population when it comes to snakes is astounding"

And i wont go into "The Guide to the Snakes of Trailer Park America"

Clark

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KingCam
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by KingCam » May 24th, 2011, 10:22 am

lepidus61 wrote:
KingCam wrote:
lepidus61 wrote:I had no idea that there are so many "Professional Herpetologist" in MO.
I'm confused, who are you quoting/referring to when you say "Professional Herpetologist" ???
"The level of ignorance displayed by 95% of the population when it comes to snakes is astounding"
Do you not agree with that statement?

One doesn't have to be a professional herpetologist with a degree to know a little bit about the reptiles/amphibians that live in their area.

I'd like to see you quote me claiming to be a professional herpetologist. I have never once implied that I know everything about snakes. But I have enough of a brain in my head to know the difference between a copperhead and a northern water snake.

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lepidus61
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by lepidus61 » May 24th, 2011, 10:54 am

Professional herpetologist was ment to be sarcastic, guess i got my point across, the comments stated above are more about the people of the area or state not about reptiles or amphibians, i dont see the connection to a forum for field herping.

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Antonsrkn
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Re: Water Moccasin...Cottonmouth....Columbia Missouri???????

Post by Antonsrkn » May 24th, 2011, 8:35 pm

I had someone argue with me that snakes didnt have bones once.
Yeah been there before.

When I was growing up it was common knowledge at summer camp that watersnakes had enough venom in one bite to kill 15 people or depending on who was telling the story about them maybe more like 20-25. On the bright side no one ever claimed the northern watersnakes were cottonmouths or water moccasins up here in WI.

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