• Snake ID, please?

    Question

    I saw a dark black snake with brown chevron markings on it and a triangular shaped head; it was about 2 feet long and an inch in diameter. It was found in Munson Township. Can you tell me what snake this is?

    Naturalist's Response

    The description you provided seems to describe one of our most common and widespread snakes. But before you get overly concerned about that triangle-shaped head, you should know that Geauga County has never had a report of any of the three venomous snakes in Ohio: the Timber Rattlesnake, the Massasauga Rattlesnake, and the Copperhead.  So, to answer your question, you saw a Northern Water Snake in a defense posture. When threatened, they will flatten out their bodies to look bigger. This also changes the shape of their head; therefore, they are commonly mistaken for Water Moccasins or Cottonmouths, neither of which live in Ohio. I have attached two examples of Northern Water Snake in this defensive posture for you to compare to what you saw.

    Thanks for the question.

    – Naturalist Trevor Wearstler