Timber Rattler
Crotalus horridus
Family: Crotalus (Rattlesnakes)

Photos courtesy Donna Bell, Flomaton, Alabama


 Timber Rattler is also known as canebrake rattlesnake and banded rattlesnake. The snake is a species of venomous pit viper found in the eastern United States. The timber rattler is the only rattlesnake species found in most of the northeastern United States. It was featured prominently in the American Revolution as the symbol of the first Continental Navy. No subspecies are currently recognized.

Adults usually grow to an average length of 4.5 feet. The maximum reported length is 6.2 feet. An Alabama record dated in 1924 mentions a large specimen caught in Montgomery County that was a total length of 5.1 feet.

Its preferred habitat is among fallen leaves and forests in rugged terrain. During the summer the females prefer open, rocky ledges where the temperatures are higher, while males tend to spend more time in cooler, denser woodland with a more closed forest canopy.

Their prey is mainly small mammals, but may include small birds, frogs, or other snakes. Although capable of consuming other rattlesnakes, the most common snakes they eat are garter snakes.

Other local names by which the Timber Rattler is known are banded rattlesnake, American viper, bastard rattlesnake, black rattlesnake, canebraker, cane rattler, canebrake rattlesnake, canebrake rattler, chevron rattler, common rattlesnake, common (timber) rattler, eastern rattlesnake, great yellow rattlesnake, mountain rattlesnake, mountain timber rattler, North American (horrid) rattlesnake, northern banded rattlesnake, pit viper, rattlesnake of the bottomlands, rock rattlesnake, Seminole rattler, small rattlesnake, swamp rattler, southern banded rattlesnake, velvet-tail rattler, and yellow rattlesnake. It is often confused with the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake.

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