Is Bandit Water Snake Poisonous?


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Sharon McKenzie Profile
Sharon McKenzie answered
Not to humans, no.  All members of the genus Nerodia, which include Banded Water Snakes (Nerodia fasciata) have enlarged, grooved rear teeth and a mild venom (NO snake is "poisonous", actually) secreted by Duvernoy's glands, which are modified saliva glands.  Ditto for their close relatives, the Garter and Ribbon Snakes.  The venom contains a mild anticoagulant which briefly inhibits blood from clotting, resulting in free blood flow for a few seconds.  This is not dangerous to humans unless you have a pre-existing condition, such as Hemophilia, which already causes blood clotting issues, in which any little nick or break to the skin can be serious.  I breed several species of Nerodia, by the way, and they actually tame down very quickly and make excellent pet snakes, especially if you're squeamish about feeding rodents to a snake, since they eat fish.  They are no more "ill-tempered" than a Corn Snake or other popular pet snake species.  My avatar, in fact, is a hypomelanistic Banded Water Snake.
Ds Tar Profile
Ds Tar answered
Here is your answer:

Banded Water Snake (Nerodia fasciata):  A snake with a faint banded pattern over a dark background of black, brown, or reddish.  Sometimes called  "water bandits", these are very abundant snakes in this area, occurring in grassy ditches, swamps, ponds, streams, and rivers.  They swim well and often dive underwater.  Frogs and fish are their primary prey.  These snakes are ill-tempered and bite if handled.

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