Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Crotalus adamanteus

The overall length of the Eastern Diamondback may range from 3 to 8 feet; however, no snake more than 5 feet has been recorded in the last 25 years. Its distinctive rattle clearly identifies the reptile. The rattles on its tail shake and vibrate when danger approaches. This is not meant to signal a bite, but rather to warn an intruder that its territory is being encroached. The snake is prepared to defend that territory but of left alone it will slowly move away to safer ground. The tongue has built-in sensors that detect heat and smell and the flicking of its tongue is an attempt to sense the direction in which danger lies. It will not approach that direction unless provoked.

The back is marked with dark-edged, diamond-shaped blotches surrounded by a row of light colored scales. Two pale diagonal stripes are displayed on the side of its head. Pale vertical lines are evident on its snout.

The preferred habitat of the Eastern Diamondback is pine and oak woodlands, abandoned farmlands and in/around palmetto stands.

Photo courtesy Donna Bell, Flomaton, Alabama

Use BACK button to return to Animal House index