Canebrake Rattlesnake
Crotalus horridus atricaudatus

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

SIZE:
Up to 74.5 inches in length

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

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

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

DESCRIPTION:
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.

FACTS:

  • 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.

YOUNG:
7 - 15 live young born between August and September

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