Cottonmouth Introduction

The Cottonmouth is a species of venomous water snake located in south America. Common names include variants on water moccasin, swamp moccasin, black moccasin, cottonmouth, and simply viper. Water moccasins can be up to 6 ft (2 m) long and have distinctive white coloring inside the mouth, pitlike depressions behind the nostrils, a triangular head with slit-shaped pupils and fangs and a single row of plates or scales on the under surface of the snake, including the tail. The water moccasin inhabits marshy lowlands of the southeastern United States.  It measures up to 1.5 metres (5 feet) in length and is brown with darker cross bands or completely black. A dangerous snake with a potentially lethal bite, the cottonmouth tends to stand its ground or move slowly away when alarmed. It eats almost any small animal, including turtles, fish, frogs, and birds.

Keywords to learn

Inhabit: (of a person, animal, or group) live in or occupy (a place or environment).

Marshy: characteristic of or resembling a marsh; waterlogged.

Key Data

  • Order:
  • Lifespan:
    24 years.
  • Class:
  • Scientific Name:
    Agkistrodon piscivorus.
  • Mass:
    three to four pounds.
  • Length:
    6 feet long.
  • Region found:
    North America.
  • Population Status:
    Least concern.
  • Current population trend:
  • Diet:
  • Sexual maturity:
    3 years.


As you have just learned, the Cottonmouth is a famous snake and is known for its venomous and aggressive nature but also for the signature white mouth were it gets its name from.


Now that you know more about the Cottonmouth by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.



Download questions about the Cottonmouth here:  (answers are on this page)


Teachers. For more in depth work sheets on snakes. Click on Kidskonnect Worksheets



Cottonmouth Fun Facts for Kids

  • # 1. The cottonmouth is the  world’s only semi aquatic viper.
  • # 2. The cottonmouth is the only species of venomous water snake in the untied states.
  • # 3. Symptoms of a cottonmouth bite usually appear from minutes to hours after a bite and can include Severe, immediate pain with rapid swelling, Discoloration of the skin, Difficult or rapid breathing, Changes in heart rate or rhythm, Metallic, rubbery, or minty taste in the mouth.Numbness or tingling around the mouth, tongue, scalp, feet, or the bite area, Swelling in lymph nodes near the bite injury and Signs of shock.
  • # 4. The cottonmouth has over 60 other names.
  • # 5. The cottonmouths average gestation period is 5 months.

Q&A Corner

# 1.  How does the cottonmouth get its name?


# 2. What Order does the cottonmouth belong to?


# 3. What is the average length of the cottonmouth?


# 4. Name 3 symptoms of a cottonmouth bite.


# 5. What is the gestation period for the cottonmouth?


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