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Do Fish Eat Snakes? (6 Fish that Eat Snakes!)

Yes, fish eat snakes. However, not all of them do. Since many snakes live on land, fish is not their common predator. When fish eat snakes, it typically happens in the sea or in freshwater areas where there are semi-aquatic snakes.

Anglerfish on a fishing trawler

Although fish eat snakes, it is often the other way around. Fish usually eat smaller fish or plankton. Many types of fish eat insects in the river, their larvae, brine shrimp, algae, and fish eggs.

Why do Fish Eat Snakes?

Like and animals, some fish are carnivores. Examples of these are the Arowana, piranha, and pufferfish. As carnivores, the fish needs protein to survive.

These fish are called predatory fish. They actively seek small fish or other aquatic animals, and this includes the sea snake. In freshwater areas, semi-aquatic areas are also a target. 

Here are the most common examples of predatory fish that eat snakes: 

  • Barracuda
  • Billfish
  • Pike
  • Walleye
  • Perch
  • Salmon

Because of this, the carnivore fish will take on a snake. In freshwater areas, the gar and the largemouth bass eat even venomous snakes that make the mistake of going into their territories. A large trout may also eat baby rattlesnakes.

Although fish eat snakes, it is not a common occurrence that one would find in documentaries. Fish are usually small creatures and cannot fit an adult snake in their stomachs. 

Chinook Salmon
Salmon are opportunists and will eat juvenile snakes if the opportunity presents itself

Are Fish Immune to Snake Venom? 

No, a fish is not immune to snake venom. In the sea, many snakes have more potent venom than their terrestrial counterparts. 

For example, the Sea Krait has venom that is ten times more potent than a rattlesnake. Sea snakes are some of the most aggressive snakes on the planet.

Do Catfish Eat Snakes?

Catfish have been known to eat snakes. One viral video shows a man filleting a catfish and finding a long snake in its stomach.

Although the video does not clearly show whether it is a catfish or not, it is widely believed that it is. Experts also piled up and said that the snake in the belly was a cottonmouth, but this is hard to verify because the snake was covered in blood. 

There are many species of catfish. Many of these are harmless to humans. Some are food to humans, especially in Southeast Asia.

Not all catfish species are bottom feeders. They love to eat, and they travel where they can find food. They have a wide array of feeding behaviors. Some are carnivorous, and some are scavengers. Most catfish swallow their prey whole.

The cottonmouth, on the other hand, is a venomous semi-aquatic snake. For this reason, they are also referred to as water moccasins. Like vipers, they have facial pits that can sense heat.

As a water snake, it hunts n both land and water. It feeds on aquatic animals too. As such, it is not uncommon for the catfish and the water moccasin to cross paths.

Do Snakes Eat Fish?

Yes, snakes eat fish, and this is more common than a fish eating a snake. In the water, some snake species are adept hunters and regularly eat fish, small birds, and amphibians.

Snakes that live in water scour the seabed. They seek food and by flicking their tongues, as land snakes do.

On the seabed, snakes hunt with other fish. For example, it is not unusual to see several snakes hunting with yellow goldfish and trevally. They eat the same prey. 

As the mass of predators comes, the prey goes into hiding in small cracks in the reef. When this happens, the sea snakes go inside those cracks to catch the fish.   

If the fish manages to escape from the crack, it will swim straight into the mouth of the big fish. One interesting thing here is that despite the trevally being bigger than a snake, it does not eat the snake at all. 

Related Article: 11 Snakes That Eat Insects

How do Fish Hunt Snakes? 

Fish can only attack with their mouths. Despite this, the attack types vary. If the fish is big enough to swallow the snake, then it is going to the just that. 

The catfish is the best example of a fish that can swallow a snake. They do not do this in one gulp, but several. A catfish does not chew. 

If the fish is a piranha or a similar type, they attack in groups. It takes only one piranha to draw the first blood. After that, the rest would do the same. The damage that a snake sustains in this attack makes it impossible for it to escape. 

More Animals that Eat Snakes:

Summary: Do Fish Eat Snakes?

Yes, fish eat snakes, but it is a rare sight to behold. Fish eat snakes if they are of the carnivorous type. Examples of fish that eat snakes are piranhas, largemouth bass, and catfish. 

In a fight, the fish is at an advantage in the water because it swims fast. However, a snake can win the battle if it uses strategy. An example of this is ambush predation.

Sea snakes and freshwater snakes can be fish prey. It is only a matter of whether or not the fish is big enough to eat them. Fish have a big mouth that can certainly eat a snake. However, there are large snakes out there that a fish cannot eat, like the reticulated python or green anaconda. 

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