Canebrake Rattlesnake
Crotalus horridus atricaudatus

CLASS: Reptilia
ORDER: Squamata
SUBORDER: Serpentes
FAMILY: Viperidae

Up to 74.5 inches in length

Statewide except for the marshes and longleaf pine forests of the Florida Parishes. Absent or very rare in much of southwest Louisiana.

North America; most frequently in hardwood forest areas and can fields of the Mississippi plain and the hill country

Wild - Rodents, rabbits, and birds
Zoo - Rats, mice

Very long, heavy-bodied, gray brown or yellowish gray; pattern of relatively narrow black crossbands, and a black tail; light colored belly; broad line from the eye to the angle of the jaw; a dep pit in the side of the head between the eye and the nostril; rattle on tip of tail; anal plate divided.


  • Large size and potent venom; good camouflage; patient (will wait for hours coiled on a log for a meal)
  • Though dangerous because of potent venom, not aggressive.
  • Eastern diamond-backed rattlesnakes and canebrake rattlesnakes are in the same genus.

7 - 15 live young born between August and September

"The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana," Harold A. Dundee and Douglas A. Rossman
"Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia," Vol. 6 Reptiles, Dr. Bernhard Grzimek