I just learned what a water moccasin is! Gimme a break, I live in the north.
Water moccasins (Agkistrodon piscivorus) are—from what I gather—territorial, semi-aquiatic, venomous snakes that inhabit the southeastern US.
Wikipedia says their aggressiveness is greatly exaggerated, but my best friend was just telling me about how he was canoeing with his family and a water moccasin left shore and came straight at their boat. This could be chalked up to curiosity on the animal’s part…but still.
When sufficiently stressed or threatened, this species engages in a characteristic threat display that includes vibrating its tail and throwing its head back with its mouth open to display the startling white interior, often making a loud hiss while the neck and front part of the body are pulled into an S-shaped position. Many of its common names, including “cottonmouth” and “gapper”, refer to this behavior, while its habit of snapping its jaws shut when anything touches its mouth has earned it the name “trap-jaw” in some areas.