Cottonmouths get their name by
gaping their mouths wide open to expose the white lining of
their mouth. This is their defensive way of warning potential aggressors to "Get away"
The cotton mouth is often incorrectly given the name
moccasin", which is a common misunderstanding since this name
represents any snake that swims in the water. People easily confuse the
cottonmouth with a common water snake and thus this harmless snake is
often killed by mistake.
BROWN WATER SNAKE
Cottonmouths eyes can't be seen from the top, while
water snakes can and there head is quite flat unlike the water snakes
rounded head. Another way to distinguish between the two is by their
pupils. Cottonmouths have vertical slits like a cat with a pit located
between the eye and nostril and the water snake has rounded pupils with
no pits on its head.
The cottonmouth can attain lengths up to and even longer than six
feet. They are typically dark in color, either black, dark brown, or a
dark olive green, and either have some markings or none. There
bodies are also patterned with 10-15 dark cross bands.