According to what part of the souteast you are in, the color of a
Water moccasin will vary from light brown with the pattern VERY
visible, to very dark brown to almost Black with the pattern hard to see.
This is generally what Cottonmouths will look like around the Midlands
This is a Brown Watersnake... Very common in the State of SC
and often mistaken for a Water Moccasin
Brown watersnakes will flatten their head and neck when frightened
or startled and they are very aggresive snakes. They can look
almost identical to the Cottonmouth when angry. ... the one very
noticable difference from a distance is there is a large band that will
extend from the Cottonmouth's eyes, back towards the venom gands.
there are two or three other common watersnakes that have similar
markings, only broken patterns...if someone is frightened of snakes
it's hard to distinguish them though without getting closer to the snake.