Do Snakes Like Water?

Yes, snakes like water because they need it to survive. Water also attracts animals that snakes prey on, such as frogs and fish.

Do Snakes Like Water
A partially submerged snake

However, people should not think that snakes “love” water like dogs do. Snakes are not emotional animals that develop human-like behavior, such as having hobbies.

Are Snakes Attracted to Water?

Snakes like water because they need it to survive. Snakes will seek it out if they’re thirsty. Even sea snakes drink freshwater. In the wild, many snakes live close to water. It is because the water supply is where the animals are, including their prey!

Snakes are attracted to ponds and other pools of water, because they need the water to survive, and the water also attracts lots of prey for them to eat.

The way snakes drink is different from how animals do it. The snake’s tongue is too small to lap water. The scientific consensus is that snakes get water from their prey, considering they swallow their prey whole.

There are studies, however, showing snakes have creases on their skin at their lower jaws. It is widely believed that they drink from this crease. A skin folds and functions like a suction tube, or a sponge, that draws water through capillary action.

As far as predation is concerned, snake enthusiasts know that anacondas and even pythons go underwater and stay there for a while, waiting for unlucky prey that they can ambush.

Gardens that have artificial ponds have fish and it is these fish that attracts the snakes. The snakes can swim and hunt the fish for food, then leave. They may come back soon knowing that there is food in the area.

What do Snakes do in Water?

Many species of snakes can swim underwater. For example, many sea snakes live in water their whole lives.

It is unknown whether all snakes can swim, but it is rare for a snake not to do it. Many snakes live in the ocean in the wild. And they hunt fish, crustaceans, and eggs.

Snakes, however, are not like eels. Sea snakes do not have gills. They have to go back to the surface from time to time to breathe. Many sea snakes can last underwater for thirty minutes, while some can stay submerged for two hours.

There are 60 known species of snakes that thrive in water. These snakes are a combination of different snakes. Some belong to the cobra family, and some are related to the Australian terrestrial elapids.

Despite living in the water, one cannot say that these snakes like water. It is equivalent to saying that fishes like water. Snakes do not like water per se, but they merely evolved to live and survive in that environment.

Snakes also bite in the water. Sea snakes are highly venomous. However, not all sea snakes are capable of envenomation.

Since many sea snakes come from the Elapid family, most of them are highly toxic. The actual bite may be painless because they have short fangs. As such, the delivery of venom is not as abundant a terrestrial snake.

There are only a few recorded cases of sea snake bites. Fatality is rarer. Some fishermen report being bitten. They experienced nausea, weakness, and difficulty speaking and swallowing.

As far as aggression is concerned, sea snakes are timid compared to their terrestrial and arboreal counterparts. Sea snakes will flee at the sight of a human. However, they will attack if threatened. Therefore, anyone who sees a sea snake must immediately swim away from it.

Related Article: How Do Snakes Swim?

Which Snakes like Water?

Yes, they like water if there is food in it. So, terrestrial and even arboreal snakes would go for a swim from time to time to hunt.

Below are some examples of land snakes that go underwater.

1. Water snakes

These are non-venomous snakes common in North America. They like spending time in the water or in areas close to it. Do not confuse this with the water moccasin. The water moccasin is the cottonmouth, and it is venomous.

Water snakes are happy to live around bodies of water. One can find them in lakes, ponds, and marshes. They also like basking in the sun to regulate their temperatures. They feed on fish, frogs, and salamanders.

2. Anacondas

Anacondas are semi-aquatic snakes. They are commonly found in South America. The most popular species that people see on TV is the Green Anaconda.

Anacondas are great swimmers. The word “anaconda” comes from the Greek word Eunectes. It means good swimmer. There are only four recognized species of this snake. These are the green, yellow, dark-spotted, and Beni.

Anacondas live in tropical waters. One can find them in swamps and rivers. Most of the time, they swim around in murky waters. They bask in trees out of the water and slither back to the water if threatened or hungry.

Anacondas are powerful constrictors but are not venomous. They hunt a wide variety of animals, including alligators. Their typical style of hunting is to camouflage themselves underwater.

Their bodies remain hidden underwater by the riverbank while their heads are afloat. Then, when prey comes to drink, they strike.

3. Mangrove Snakes

Despite its name, the mangrove snake is usually found in lowland rainforests, not in mangrove swamps. It is a venomous snake that is common in Southeast Asia.

They typically stay on trees, and they like staying high. So it is not unusual to see mangrove snakes basking 30 meters above the ground.

As nocturnal animals, they descend to the ground at night to hunt for food. Their diet consists of small mammals, amphibians, and other reptiles.


Snakes like water in the sense that evolution taught them to hunt prey in bodies of water. However, snakes do not like water like other animals do, like dogs or buffalos.

Many species of snakes live in water. They are the most dangerous and most venomous, but the fatalities are rare. Sea snakes are timid and will run away from humans. They would only attack if threatened or provoked.

Land snakes like water if they know that there is prey. Water typically attracts other animals, mostly amphibians. Snakes get attracted to bodies of water if there is something there to eat.

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