: i found this snake,i live in the
: shanadoah valley of virginia,was going
: to my car it was off to the side of the
: steps in the open,it struck at me as i
: was walking by thats how i saw it.i
: have a small child and am worried and
: want to know what kind it might be.it
: was 1ft 6in about the size of a nickel
: around, it wasblack with thin brown
: rings around it and a little brown on
: its head,very agressive.any one know
: what it might be.i live in the
: lexington,va area??
There are only two venomous snakes living in your area, the Timber Rattlesnake, and the Northern Copperhead. No, you don't have "Water Moccasins", (more properly called Cottonmouths) in your area, no matter what the locals might say.
Your snake sounds like a Northern Water Snake, which is a harmless, non poisonous snake that lives in lakes and streams. If cornered or surprised (as happened in your case), they will lash out, but having no fangs or venom, they won't hurt you, and in most cases they are just trying to get an intruder to go away rather than bite them.
You see, harmless snakes have dozens of tiny teeth that curve backwards which helps them to hold onto their prey. If they actually bite an intruder, they will likely hook themselves on the intruder, and will be in even worse shape.
I think the snake was just trying to scare you away.
Your snake does not in any way resemble either of the two dangerous snakes in your area, so you have nothing to worry about.
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The Appalachian Naturalist