The visual acuity of seven midland banded water snakes was measured by recording evoked responses from telencephalon to temporally modulated square wave grating patterns. Using conventional electrophysiological techniques and signal averaging, high contrast square wave gratings of different spatial frequencies were presented. Acuity was estimated by extrapolating relative response amplitude/log10 spatial frequency functions which yielded an average acuity of 4.25 cycles/degree. Refractive state was also estimated by recording evoked potentials to intermediate spatial frequencies with different lenses in front of the eye. Polynomial fits indicated that under the experimental conditions the snakes were around 6.4 diopters hyperopic suggesting a corrected acuity of 4.89 cycles/degree. Reduction of grating luminance resulted in a reduction in evoked potential acuity measurements. These results indicate that the spatial resolution of midland banded water snakes is the equal of cat; about 20/120 in human clinical terms. © 2007 Springer-Verlag.