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Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma
Venomous Status Common in Katy and Cypress Texas Description/Identification A fat bodied snake that usually has a skinny tail compared to the rest of the body.  Coloration is a combination of black, white, and grey.  Young snakes have a yellow tail tip and are sometimes hard to distinguish from young copperheads.  This is a pitviper and has heat seeking pits located near the nostrils and a vertical pupil similar to a cat.  Can be found in various habitats and I usually find them nowhere near water. Defense Out of all the snakes in the Houston area this one is probably the most feared due to countless false stories about how aggressive they are.  People will kill many water snakes thinking they are cottonmouths for no reason whatsoever as if it is a sport.  The first defense of this snake is to flee.  If unable to flee they will usually stand their ground and gape with their trademark white mouth open, thus the common name cottonmouth.  Contrary to popular belief this snake is reluctant to bite even when stepped on, and research has proven cottonmouths to be less aggressive than the related copperhead.  Cottonmouths will not aggressively pursue a person to bite them EVER don’t believe the stories!  This is a venomous snake and you should remain a few feet away from them and out of striking distance.  If you stay out of striking distance and leave the snake alone there is nothing to fear about cottonmouths.