Timber/Canebrake Rattlesnake

Timber/Canebrake Rattlesnake   Crotalus horridus

Type of Animal:

Upland forests (open/closed), woodlands, rocky areas, cane thickets, swampland, floodplains, hardwood forest (open/closed), pine forest (open/closed), mountainous areas, rural areas, hilly areas, deciduous forest (open/closed), hilly thickets, moist lowland forest (open/closed), grassy open slopes, ridges, fields/field edges, river bottoms, hardwood hammocks, pine flatwoods, prairie, rock slides, grassland, quarries/mines & edges, marsh/pond/river edges, streamsides, dead tree hollows, heavy timber, wooded/forested hillsides, pine savanna, meadows, riverbanks, river bars, hedgerows, abandoned buildings, dirt/old paved roads, railroad embankments, creek banks, coastal plains, riparian areas

Found in E Texas, E Oklahoma, E Kansas, SE Nebraska, S & E Iowa, SE Minnesota, SW Wisconsin, W & S Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, border areas of N Florida, Tennessee, S Carolina, most of N Carolina, Kentucky except NC part, S Indiana, SC Ohio, W Virginia, W & N Virginia, W Maryland, New Jersey except C part, most of Pennsylvania, S & E New York, & S New England w/ pocket population in CN Ohio.

Young lighter gray, solid velvet looking black tail, black chevrons on back/sides, timber form brown, yellowish, or black (melanism very common), canebrake form (more common down south) gray w/ pink hue & pinkish, yellow, orange, or brown stripe on back, transverse color bands, darkens w/ age w/ old males being the darkest.

Mice, rats, moles, voles, shrews, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, weasels, songbirds, grouse, bobwhites, ducklings, turkey poults, other snakes (including smaller members of own species), amphibians, baby alligators, bats, lizards, carrion, insects

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & reptile centers

Solitary or groups of up to 15 snakes

Additional Info:


Male-2.72 lbs
Female-2.57 lbs

4.5 months 

Life Span:
30 years

Body Length:
Male-5.5 ft
Female-3.63 ft
Young-1.5 ft

Tail Length:
1.5 ft

Main predators of adults are alligators, snapping turtles, bears, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, owls, hawks, falcons, eagles, corvids, indigo snakes, kingsnakes, cats, skunks, raccoons, dogs, otters, & opossums. Turkeys, pigs, larger rattlesnakes, black ratsnakes, & black racers prey on young.

Females give birth to 1-20 live young.

Males engage in combat dances during breeding season.

Fun Fact(s):
While highly venomous, they’re very shy & non-aggressive.

Hunted for meat, rattles, & skins.

May be the rattlesnake on Gadsden Flag saying “Don’t Tread On Me.”

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