Snakes

Massasauga

Massasauga

Other Names: Western Massasauga

Scientific Name: Sistrurus catenatus

Family: Crotalidae

Venomous

 

Description & Size

  • Legless
  • No eyelids
  • Lacks external ears
  • Each scale has a prominent ridge in the middle (strongly keeled)
  • Rattle present on end of the tail
  • Pit on each side of the head between the nostril and eye
  • Vertical elliptical pupils
  • Total length:  41.0-103.0 cm (16.1-40.6 in)
  • Back color:  light gray to dark brown
  • Horizontal stripes and/or blotched patterns on back (dark brown)

Habitat

  • Wet prairies
  • Wetlands
  • Crayfish burrows

Diet

  • Small mammals
  • Birds
  • Reptiles
  • Amphibians

Life History

  • Diurnal and Nocturnal
  • Active season:  mid-March – mid-November (Jellen et al, 2007)
  • Breeding season:  early spring – mid-summer
  • Gives live birth
  • 2-19 young per female

Range

Massasauga Range