MANGROVE SALT MARSH WATER SNAKE
Nerodia clarkii compressicauda, or the mangrove salt marsh snake, is a nocturnal and semi-arboreal, semi-aquatic, snake species that is native to coastal aquatic habitats in Southern Florida.
Specifically, as the name suggests, the mangroves are the Mangrove Salt Marsh snake's preferred habitat.
Adults are variable in colour they may be grayish-olive, brown, or rusty orange with faint darker bands.
Some individuals may be almost entirely black, but these are few and far between.
The belly is reddish-brown on rusty orange individuals, clouded gray on olive-gray individuals, clouded tan on brownish individuals.
They have a unique compressed tail that helps propel them through the water, which is also representative of their scientific name compressicauda.
The scales are keeled like in most water snakes.
Juvenile’s coloration is similar to adults.
Average adult size is 71cm for males with females getting larger at around 93cm.
These snakes are nocturnal, ambush foragers, which means they wait for their prey to come to them, they most likely feed on the diverse brackish habitats opportunistically. This could include invertebrates, small mammals, or birds.
I currently keep both the rusty orange and the olive/brown type, of all the water snakes they appear to be the most jumpy as juveniles but are slowly calming down.
Eating habits both will readily accept different fish meals with only one currently eating mice.
Growth rates seem to be slower in this species