This short and stubby snake usually obtains lengths around 3-4 feet, but there have been reports of the occasional six-footer! These snakes have a potent hemotoxic venom which destroys red blood cells and muscle tissue. Victims feel instant pain when bitten. Cottonmouths can be identified by their short and stubby brownish bodies. They may also curl up and open up their mouth to show the white inside, which is where the name “cottonmouth” comes from. Cottonmouths also have “cat-eyes” where the pupil is vertical like a cat’s: most venomous snakes have this trait, except the Coral Snake. You can also identify a Cottonmouth by the brown or black band that goes from the nose and across the eye like a bandit’s mask. You are most likely to find a Cottonmouth in a swampy, moist area, especially cypress swamps.
There is a good image of this snake on www.richeskinphoto.com