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Home > Snakes > Massasauga Rattlesnake

Massasauga Rattlesnake

Massasauga rattlesnake is a species of venomous snake occurring in the midwestern North America. Like all rattlesnakes, it is a pit viper. There are three recognized subspecies of this species.



    Kingdom Animalia
    Phylum Chordata
    Subphylum Vertebrata
    Class Reptilia
    Order Squamata
    Suborder Serpentes
    Family Viperidae
    Subfamily Crotalinae
    Genus Sistrurus
    Scientific Name Sistrurus catenatus


    Other Names Black Massasauga, Black Rattler, Black Snapper, Muck Rattler
    Length 60 to 75 cm
    Color Ground color is gray or tan with a row of large, round brown/black uneven patches or spots down the center of the back and three rows of alternating spots down the sides
    Distribution Ontario (Canada), western New York, southeastern Arizona (United States), northern Mexico
    Habitat Tall grass prairie, bogs, marshes, shorelines, forests, alvars
    Diet Rodents, lizards, frogs
    Hibernation Fact Hibernate during winter
    Predators Herons, hawks, eagles, other snakes
    Venom Fact Cytotoxic venom
    Breeding Season Spring
    Mode of Reproduction Ovoviviparous (producing young by means of eggs hatched inside the body of the parent)
    Litter Size 8 to 20 young
    Gestation Period 2 to 4 months
    Average Lifespan Up to 14 years
    IUCN Conservation Status Least Concern

    Massasauga Rattlesnake Pictures Gallery

    Published on January 7th 2017 by under Snakes. Article was last reviewed on 11th May 2019.

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