Species of the Week: The Northern Watersnake

Photo by Nata Culhane

This week’s #SpeciesOfTheWeek is the Northern Watersnake! Sometimes mistaken for Gray Ratsnakes, watersnakes are common at Murphys Point Provincial Park. One way to tell them apart is their colouration – ratsnakes are black with beige or white blotches and a bright white chin, while watersnakes are brown, with faint reddish bands. They can often be found swimming in lakes and rivers, hanging out by the shores of wetlands, or sunning themselves on rocks and logs. We often spot them at the Black Creek Marsh on the Lally Trail (where this one was spotted), or under the bridge by McParlan House. They’re good hunters, preying on fish and amphibians near shore. In the winter, they hibernate underground in rock crevices or in muskrat and beaver lodges. They breed in the spring and unlike Gray Ratsnakes (which lay eggs), watersnakes give birth to live young! Have you seen any Northern Watersnakes this summer?

This entry was posted in Friends of Murphys Point, Murphys Point, Murphys Point Provincial Park, Species of the Week. Bookmark the permalink.

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