The Northern Water Snake, Nerodia sipedon sipedon, is a common creek runner in Arkansas. This shot was flashed to show the true cream and chocolate color. They appear darker when wet and in shadow but the bands still show. They are generally docile. Some might confuse them with the venomous Copperhead but they are much less colorful. And the round pupil and absence of a pit, as always, when this close, defines a non-venomous serpent.

The Broad-banded Water Snake, Nerodia fasciata confluens, is often mistaken for a Cottonmouth by the hunter or fisherman describing their close encounter with death. Again the pupil and pitless state is easier to see than most think. These guys have broad dark stretches interspersed with orange, yellow and brown irregularities. The face is often as pictured here with orange and red cheeks. Less docile than the above, they can be nasty initially when encountered but like most snakes they just want to go their way. This species is found all over Arkansas except in the Ozark plateau.

A very nicely marked Broad-banded Water Snake from the Red Slough roadways after some rain. Note again the red-orange face. And the richer blacks here.

And David's very fine facial portrait of the juvenile Broad-banded.

This Mud Snake, Farancia abacura reinwartii, is not a true Water Snake but it acts like one. Lives mainly aquatically and apparently loves eels and slippery water prey. In a different genus from the above Broad-banded. The red is strikingly bright even on large adults. Smooth scaled. A Tom shot.

The Yellowbelly Watersnake, Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster, is a common water dweller in the whole Mississippi valley. Plain-backed and yellow-green beneath. Nasty tempered like the Diamondback Watersnake. This one was coiled next to a creek in the Ouachita Mountains.

The face of a Yellowbelly Watersnake, from Ouachita county in Pine woods. Well away from any deep water. This snake ran and tried to hide. About 3 1/2 feet long. It was not pleased when I moved some of its shelter and took its picture. Note the flattened head and striking position. It struck at the camera once.

Though difficult for me to believe when we first saw it. This is a juvenile of the Yellowbelly. The first I had seen. To our west the subspecies is the Blotched in this group the young are apparently similar and very colorful as opposed to the adults. This youngster bit me once and stopped. About eight inches long.  
The same juvenile before I grabbed it. Showing rufous tail tip and patterning along the dorsum. Note the Bronze Frog just to the left. I also grabbed him.  

A pileup of Nerodia rhombifer rhombifer, likely the most common watersnake in the state. Known as the Diamondback Water Snake. I am not sure it isn't the most likely species when you see waterside aggregations like this. Often mistaken for Cottonmouths by those who report seeing masses of that species. These are nasty tempered snakes. Far more likely to bite you than Cottonmouths though much less of a problem perhaps once bitten.

The shot from Norm showing the patterning that gets them their name. This one looks like it needs a shedding.
And Norm finally got a shot of a Graham's Crayfish Snake, Regina grahamii, I assume in his northwest state corner. The more difficult of the water snake groups to see. Often nocturnal and secretive. Closely related to the Queen Snake, R. septemvittata, which has a disjunct population in the north and north central part of AR. Apparently someone caught a Queen at Bell Slough but I have never seen any Regina there.