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REPTILES

Tensas River NWR

CANEBRAKE RATTLESNAKES

Crotalus horridus

At A Glance

  • IDENTIFICATION: Large, tan, with black chevrons along its body, dark stripe near eyes, "cat" (elongated) pupils, wide head, narrow neck,rattles on the tail, rusty brown stripe down the back
  • COMMONLY CONFUSED WITH: Diamond-back water snake
  • CONSERVATION STATUS: Least Concern - Population Decreasing
  • DIET: Small mammals, birds, other snakes, lizards, frogs
  • HABITAT: Swamps, river floodplains, forests, rural farming areas
  • HIBERNATION SITES: May congregate in clutches in dens under trees
  • BREEDING: Early spring mating season, live birth of 5 - 20 snakes rougly six months later
  • BEHAVIOR: Active during the day and at night, ambush hunters that often coil beside logs, fallen trees to hunt
  • THREATS: Coyotes, foxes, raccoons, opossums, cats, birds of prey, turkeys, king snakes
  • SPECIAL SKILLS: Ability to camouflage in surroundings
  • SEASONS FOR VIEWING IN NORTH LOUISIANA: Year round, but most active during the day in fall and spring