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Do snakes drink water?

As I watched this snake, it appeared to me that it was lapping water droplets, like a cat, from the wet grass. It wasn’t just flicking its little red tongue. It was flicking it at the grass. I asked a friend who has kept snakes as pets if they lap water. He said no, that snakes get most of their water from their food.

I remain unsatisfied by that answer. It sure did look like it was lapping water like a cat.


  1. Quetal wrote:

    King,Bull,Garden/Garter or racer? Very cool too.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    It’s a black snake, and possibly a black racer. I don’t really know how to distinguish the racer from the non-racer, except that if it chases you it’s a racer. 🙂

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 6:59 am | Permalink
  3. Trish wrote:

    I get black rat snake youngsters in my basement in the winter sometimes. a snake expert with the dept of natural resources said to put some water out for them. so that must mean they drink it! I felt terrible one winter when 2 babies drowned in the pit where the sump pump was. People will mistake young black rat snakes for something more frightening, because they have markings. as they grow older they become generally dark, but you can still see the markings.

    Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Permalink
  4. Hi, how i enjoyed your website..wonderful and that Fox so magic. thank you for your wonderful words…

    david bradbury. UK.

    Monday, February 1, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink
  5. Sarah Stillman wrote:

    I kind of got on your blog randomly. I’ve owned snakes for years and I know a good deal about them.

    To answer your question:
    While snakes do get some water from their food, especially if their diet is in water dense foods such as fish, it’s not the majority of it. They can also drink water from the air, in humid environments, or from water sources if the environment is dry. So, yes, the snake could have been drinking water droplets but the tongues of snakes are also extremely important sensory organs for them. It could have been easily keeping an ‘eye’ out for you or looking for prey.

    Fun fact, you can tell a lot about a snake’s thoughts through their tongue flicks. The tongue will go towards things it’s interested it and even the length the tongue flicks can tell you something.

    Friday, December 11, 2020 at 3:30 am | Permalink

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