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The cottonmouth snake, Agkistrodon piscivorus, has dark bands on dark or olive skin but is most known by the white, cotton-like inside of its mouth. Young cottonmouths are lighter and look similar to copperheads. This snake can be found in the eastern part of the state.

Typical adult length: 3 feet

Habitat: Prefers freshwater but can also be found on land

Defenses used: camouflaging, fleeing, opening the mouth widely, flattening the body to appear bigger, vibrating the tail, releasing musk

Bite severity: The bite severity of the cottonmouth is similar to the copperhead. Bites from either of these snakes can be severe but generally not as severe as other NC snakes.


Call NC Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or chat from this site for snakebite treatment advice or for questions about the venomous snakes in our area.