Diamondback Water Snake Diamondback Water Snake
Nerodia rhombifer


30-63" (76.2-160 cm). Heavy-bodied; greenish-brown to brown with large dark netlike pattern formed of dark blotches on back, connected with alternating dark bars on sides. Yellow belly with largest dark spots along sides. Scales keeled, in 25-31 rows. Anal plate divided. Males have pimplelike bumps on chin scales.


The Diamondback Water Snake is quick to bite and capable of inflicting numerous lacerations, but its bite is not venomous. This aggressive behavior, coupled with its habitat, often results in Diamondbacks being misidentified as poisonous Cottonmouths.


Three; 1 in our range: Northern (N. r. rhombifera).


Mates in spring; 14-62 young, 9-13" (23-33 cm) long, are born August to October.


Margins of lakes, rivers, streams, swamps, marshes, canals, ditches, and ponds.


S. Illinois and Indiana south along the Mississippi River drainage to Mississippi and sc. Alabama, west to sc. Texas and Mexico, north through Oklahoma, Kansas, and n. Missouri.