Wichita Peace and Freedom Party Examiner;
Every year, around Wichita, people kill water snakes of various types and claim they just killed a Water Moccasin in Kansas. Or they may have found a whole bunch of them on a certain creak bead. The fact is that Water Moccasins are rare in Kansas and found only in the far south east. Yet people will swear they have seen or killed them.
Nearly all snakes are becoming extremely rare in Wichita and Sedgwick County. Snakes are losing their habitat, yet at the same time, lakes are being built around new homes and that provides many with one more place to live.
But reality is that there are a number of harmless water-snakes that look just like a Water Moccasin and are often mistaken for them, according to The Kansas School Naturalist Emporia State University.There are a number of poison snakes to be found here in Kansas. In the eastern part of the state there are copperheads. I’ve seen one myself. There are a number of Rattlesnakes found in Kansas. The massasauga rattle snake is also found in the eastern woodlands and I have found those. Most of the other rattlers live far out on the prairie miles from Wichita.
The big differences between the non-poisonous snakes and the poisonous are that the more dangerous have cat pupils. The harmless have round eyes. Most poison snakes are pit vipers, so they have two small pits between their eyes and nostrils. The poison snakes have a double row of scales on the bottom of their tails while the safe ones have only one.
Most water snakes eat small fish and frogs and don’t bother people swimming. Unless the swimmer picks them up they will ignore people. Their bites can break the skin but are harmless.
Common people are not the only ones who mistake water snakes for water moccasins. ABC news showed a water snake that they believed was a water moccasin. They should know better.
This water snake make look dangerous but he isn't.