Agkistrodon piscivorus (Lacépède) – Cottonmouth
Agkistrodon piscivorus (Lacépède) - Cottonmouth

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Legend
     Exact locality, based on specimen(s) or photographs examined
     Exact locality, based on literature record believed valid
     Approximate locality based on specimen(s) or photographs examined
     Approximate locality based on literature record believed valid
     County record only, based on specimens or photographs examined
     County record only, based on literature report believed valid
     Type locality
?      Questionable and/or problematic record

Taxonomy: Three subspecies are recognized range wide (Crother et al. 2012), but only A. p. leucostoma (Western Cottonmouth) occurs in Tennessee (Conant and Collins 1998).

Distribution:  The Cottonmouth occurs throughout the western third of Tennessee from the Mississippi River to and including those counties just east of the lower Tennessee River. Populations are also know from floodplain habitats along the lower Cumberland River and its major tributaries in Montgomery, Cheatham, Dickson and possibly Davidson counties. An introduced colony once existed in Coffee County.

Museum Records by Counties: BentonAPSU 3272; MSU 1414.  CheathamAPSU 4313, 5468, 5530, 17654; TTU uncataloged (3 specimens).  ChesterUMMZ 125231; UTKVZC 3804.  Crockett—APSU  19035, 19036, 19137DecaturAPSU 3349.  DicksonAPSU 3458, 3845.  FayetteAPSU 18918.  HardemanAPSU 15604; LSUMZ 43953, 43954, 43960; UTKVZC 04184.  HardinUTKVZC 699.  HaywoodAPSU 6130, 18237-18240.  HendersonAPSU 3348.  HenryCMNH 66998; UMMZ 53520-53524.  HumphreysAPSU 4311, 4315, 4358, 16144, 16344, 16877.  LakeAPSU 1677, 12706, 18030; CMNH 58725; MoSU R4426; NCSM 8137; SIUC uncataloged (1 specimen); UIMNH 23436-23439, 39719, 62359; UTKVZC 6610.  LewisAPSU 18925, 18925.  MadisonLSUMZ 34792.  McNairyAPSU 3346, 3347. MontgomeryAPSU 1398, 2133, 2134, 2140, 2142, 2143, 2155, 2156, 2159, 2208, 2236, 3288, 5321, 5544; AUM 21234. ObionAPSU 4344, 13023-13028, 13039-13041; MoSU R3352; MSU 1324; UIMNH 22608; UL 4276; UMMZ 84413. ShelbyAPSU 12369, 12373, 12375, 12949, 12981, 13029, 13032, 13055, 15408, 15410, 16161; MSU 888; USNM 44364. TiptonAPSU 19067. Wayne—APSU 19367.  WeakleyAPSU 3340, 15600, 19160.

Literature Records by Counties:  AndersonGentry (1956). CarrollGloyd and Conant (1990).  CheathamGloyd and Conant (1990), Smith and Scott (1999), Smith (2009), Fulbright and Gienger (2013)ChesterEndsley (1954).  CoffeeBingham (1985), Gloyd and Conant (1990), Hamilton and Colvin (2009).  Crockett—Colvin and Dennison (2012a).  DavidsonMuir (1980).  DicksonGloyd and Conant (1990).  Dyer—Guiher and Burbrink (2008).  FayetteTiersc and Figiel (1991), Ream (2008).  GibsonMiller (1995a).  HardemanGloyd and Conant (1943), Parker (1948), Norton (1971), Norton and Harvey (1975), Jacob (1981), Gloyd and Conant (1990).  HaywoodStanley (2005). HenryBlanchard (1922).  LakeParker (1937a, 1937b, 1948).  LauderdaleHamel (1996).  LewisCrabtree et al. (2010).  MontgomeryScott (1967), Scott and Snyder (1968), Gloyd and Conant (1990).  ObionCagle (1937), Parker (1937a, 1937b, 1948), Muir (1980).  ShelbyRhoads (1895), Parker (1948), Hassell (1961), Sanders and Jacob (1981), Gloyd and Conant (1990).  TiptonColvin (2011b).  WayneGloyd and Conant (1990), Dodge and Miller (2013).  Weakley—Colvin and Dennison (2012a), Pitts (2015a).

Questionable and/or Erroneous Records:  The published records by Gentry (1956) from Oak Ridge and Norris Lake in Anderson County must be questioned since neither is supported by known voucher specimens and no other records exist within at least 200 km of the area.  Likewise Muirs (1980) suggestion that cottonmouths are commonly found in most lakes from the Cumberland Plateau westward and in several lakes around the Nashville area is not substantiated by any credible evidence.  However, there are valid records from the Harpeth River drainage in Cheatham County only a few km from the area west of Nashville in Davidson County.  Other records that have been debated are those from selected sites in Wayne and Coffee counties (Gloyd and Conant 1990).  A recent, well-documented record from Wayne County (Dodge and Miller 2013) lends credibility to the questionable reports of the species from that area.

Conservation Status: None.

Posted: 1 May 2008

Latest Revision: 14 December 2015


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