Timber Rattlesnake

Timber Rattlesnake


South New Hampshire, south in higher elevations to northern Georgia, west to Illinois, southeastern Minnesota, Wisconsin and south to northeastern Texas


Prefers rocky limestone and timber, also adjacent fields, meadows, and pastures.


Yellowish or black cross-bands on gray or brown background, or blackish stippling.

Timber Rattlesnake

Generally not aggressive; very common in United States. Hibernates in large groups.


Ovoviviparous — young emerge with fangs, venom, and pre-button beginning of a rattle. Females give birth to 5-17 young in the early fall, usually between late August and early October.

Interesting Facts:

Rattlers shed their skin 3 or 4 times per year on average, so it is unusual to see more than 12 rattles. The ‘pit’ is a temperature-sensitive structure used to locate warm-blooded prey. Rattlers can climb trees. It is not uncommon to find one 4 – 5 feet off the ground in mesquite, manzanita, or other shrubs. They are also good swimmers. The fangs can be folded back inside a skin fold to protect them when their mouth is closed. The venom in most crotalus is hemotoxic. The rattlesanke is the only venomous snake in Utah. There are four species and 3 subspecies of western rattlesnake in the state.

Be Rattlesnake Aware! Download this .pdf: Rattlesnake Awareness Brochure

Timber Rattlesnake
Class: reptiles
Genus: Crotolus
Species: horridus horridus
Length: Average 36 – 54 inches; maximum 74 1/2 inches
Average Lifespan: 8
Wild Diet: Ranges from small mammals (mainly rodents) to birds, frogs, lizards, and other snakes.
Zoo Diet: Frozen/thawed mice
Predators: Man, king snakes, roadrunner (southwestern species), racers, whip snakes, coyotes, foxes, wildcats, badgers, hawks and eagles
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building: Temperate Zone

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