Nerodia rhombifer overpowers a catfish (photo by David Sledge)

Nerodia rhombifer overpowers a catfish (photo by David Sledge)

Here is a dramatic photo of a snake killing a catfish. The snake is a nonvenomous species, the diamondback water snake (Nerodia rhombifer) which is commonly mistaken for the venomous cottonmouth–even though the later is less common. The reptile captured the fish by force and brute tenacity (and it succeeded in swallowing the fish even though the catfish’s head was bigger than its own). The amazing photo was captured by a gifted photographer, David Sledge, who had the further gift of being in the right place at the right time in order to catch a match between two formidable animals. The Daily News reported that, “Mr. Sledge was walking along a bayou just outside Sugar Land a suburb southwest of Houston, Texas, when he witnessed the remarkable struggle between predator and prey.”