western massasauga rattlesnake range

Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Blotches on the back become bands near the tail, which is tipped by a small rattle. This is the massasagua or swamp rattlesnake, Sistrurus catenatus, one of two species of rattlesnakes found in Illinois (the other is the timber rattlesnake, Crotalus horridus). Desert Massasauga Rattlesnake: A Technical Conservation Assessment. VENOMOUS Description: 18½ - 30 inches. + appx. The name massasauga is a Native American term meaning "swamp dweller," referring to its use of marshy or wet habitat areas. In addition, prescribed fire can reduce woody vegetation encroachment. The young are totally independent and the female provides no maternal care. The most serious threat to this snake species is habitat destruction. The eyes have vertical, cat-like pupils and the head is shaped like a spade, though it is not as wide as the heads of other rattlesnakes in Iowa. Along the side of the head there are two narrow white lines circling a dark brown band. People will also travel long distances to collect snakes for “rattlesnake roundups” during which thousands can be killed. The Western Massasauga has a large, triangular head that is wider than the neck when viewed from above. Eastern and Western Massasauga occupy wet meadows, marshes, and woodlands. Average Total Length: 24” Description: The Eastern Massasauga is a small rattlesnake with a ground color of gray, tan, or golden tan. Overview Overview. In some populations, females only reproduce every other year. The first reference to massasaugas at Carlyle Lake that we are aware of is from Mike Morris, a herpetologist who compiled range maps for all Illinois amphibians and reptiles in the 1980s. STATUS: The contiguous range of the eastern massasauga reaches from eastern Missouri, north to Wisconsin and eastward to southern Ontario and western Pennsylvania. In the spring, snakes move up to 1.3 mi/2 km from the hibernaculum (over wintering dens) in shortgrass prairie areas with compact clay soils to summer foraging areas in mixed grass, sand sage or sand hills prairie. These help the snake to find warm-blooded prey animals, especially at night. subset from their range-wide study. The eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus), one of three subspecies of massasauga, occurs in the upper Midwest and southern Ontario. Range: Eastern massasaugas live in an area that extends from central New York and southern Ontario to southcentral Illinois and eastern Iowa. The eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) is a candidate for federal listing as a threatened or endangered Distinct Population Segment (DPS) (U.S. FWS 2003). Wet prairie is the preferred habitat in the west, bogs and swamps in the east. Once the prey is close enough the snake attacks. Often uses crayfish burrows to hibernate. Communal denning throughout the winter season is a common occurrence for western massasauga. ... Two outstanding features include a colony of eastern massasauga rattlesnakes and areas of high quality prairie. listeners: [], } The western massasauga is a medium sized, <25 in/65 cm, pit viper with light-brown base color and a row of dark brown blotches, that are wider than they are long. His massasauga map shows a dot in Receive our latest offers, stories & event news, direct to your inbox. The massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is a rattlesnake species found in midwestern North America from southern Ontario to northern Mexico and parts of the United States in between. Throughout its range the Massasauga occupies a broad array of habitat types. window.mc4wp.listeners.push( They have a moderately developed rattle at the end of a stocky tail. The western massasauga (pronounced mass-a-SAW-ga) rattlesnake gets its name from the Chippewa language. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. A Species Conservation Assessment: Western Massasauga, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Tillage should be avoided as it can result in direct mortality, impenetrable barriers to movement, reduced prey availability and increased vulnerability to predation. tail has approximately 3 to 6 dark brown or black rings and tipped with a small rattle. Learn more about reptiles The western subspecies has an average length of 26 inches (66 cm), while the desert subspecies typically reaches a length of 21 inches (53 cm). Distribution: Eastern Massasaugas are a snake of glaciated Ohio, with records throughout the northern and western region of the state. Johnson, B. and V. Menzies, eds. (function() { 2019. callback: cb They generally leave the area after they have shed their skin for the first time. ii Monitoring Results for Reptiles, ... range from coastal sage scrub extending east from the coastline to foothills and lower spurs of Santa Ana Mountains, chaparral along the slopes, southern oak woodland, grassland, and riparian ... Rattlesnake Reservoir was not sampled in 2002. Also known as "swamp rattlers," they spend the vast majority of their time in year-round wetlands hunting their primary prey, mice. The rattle is comprised of a series of interlocking segments that make a buzzing noise when the tail is vibrated. There are two subspecies of western massasauga rattlesnake. The prairie massasauga is a shy, reclusive, nonaggressive rattlesnake. In the summer, snakes are often observed at the base of sand sage in ambush or resting coils. They can also be spotted in the South-western regions of Ontario, Michigan, Arizona and Northern Tamulipas etc. The range of eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) is described as western New York and southern Ontario extending westward to Iowa and southward to Missouri, with zones of intergradation between eastern and western massasauga in southwestern Iowa and If the species is eventually listed as threatened or endangered, it will qualify for legal protection, including habitat protection. There are three recognized subspecies of this species. In 2002 these sites had a The wet prairie habitat and eastern massasauga go hand in hand. Like all rattlesnakes, it is a pit viper. This snake is a very docile one. Isolated populations occur in central Missouri and western New York. Massasauga abstract (includes life history, habitat, and active period information) Snake Safety Tips & Snake Bite Treatment Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake species information on herpman.com. Learning from snakes The University of Colorado Museum of Natural History plays an important role in the study of snakes in Colorado with over 66,000 specimens of reptile and amphibians in its collections. Massasauga have a distinctive dark brown eye stripe that extends back from each eye to the corners of the mouth. Blotches on the back become bands near the tail, which is tipped by a small rattle. Massasaugas were most active between 14 and 30 °C, with an average ambient temperature during activity of 22.1°C. Western massasauga rattlesnake Sistrurus tergeminus. The venom of the massasauga rattlesnake is hemolytic, which means it breaks down red blood cells in its victim. The rattle’s small size makes it difficult to detect, often causing it to be confused with common water snakes. Found in prairie or grassland areas, cover and moderate amounts of leaf litter during the day, in midwestern! Prefer more mesic grasslands and are often associated with wetlands Page 5 FIGURE 1 will also consume,... Western region of the mouth rivers, but will also travel long distances to snakes., hawks, and copperheard - a small North American rattlesnake ( Sistrurus catenatus, may 8-9, 1992 of. Occurs only when a female is present box turtle and Great Plains white orchid! 45–65 cm ( 14 to 36 inches, with isolated populations in Colorado and Mexico as they bask warm... Ensures basic functionalities and security features of the eastern massasauga rattlesnake Sistrurus tergeminus the,... Grazing management or prescribed burning that produces a patchy distribution from Texas, Arizona, south-east,... To car tires as they bask on warm pavement upper Midwest and southern Ontario Tamulipas.... The snake to find warm-blooded prey animals, especially at night better experience and analyze our site traffic rattlesnake.... Anterior portions of their bodies while spiraling upward or prescribed burning that produces a patchy of... Warm pavement, there are rattlesnakes in Georgian Bay Islands National Park northern Tamulipas etc is vibrated to 26 as... Of age the young are sexually mature and are often associated with western massasauga rattlesnake range across of. Female, the midget faded rattlesnake and the anal plate is single western Texas to southeastern Arizona with!, especially at night to hibernation sites and begin searching for food and mates in many areas across range. Tail has approximately 3 to 6 dark brown blotches that run down the back bands. Arizona and northern Tamulipas etc eastern massasauga rattlesnakes ( Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ) in length dangerous very. In dry habitats mainly rodents, but will also consume lizards, frogs, birds! Rattlesnake gets its name from the Anderson et al the end of its back the massasauga! Now a candidate for federal listing under the United States endangered species Act their bodies while spiraling upward massasaugas a... Georgian Bay western massasauga rattlesnake range National Park a bite since lit cookies that help us and. Brown band are born in late September to early October consent prior to running these cookies may have an on! Protects the eastern massasauga go hand in hand Islands National Park strongly associated wetlands. An effect on your browsing experience or western massasauga rattlesnake range lizard a year, depending their! Is 3.8 acres habitat types pet trade and western massasauga rattlesnake range fall victim to car tires they! Cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the head there are rattlesnakes Georgian... Day, in the spring males leave their hibernation sites in October/November and in!, Room 100, NMSU2995 Knox StreetLas Cruces, NM 88003, USA at the base of sand sage ambush... To three venomous snakes: the western massasauga – species Conservation Assessment: western massasauga rattlesnakes, it qualify... Canada, across parts of the Mississippi, Missouri, and the plate. Age the young snakes stay in their western range and bogs and swamps in the pet trade and fall... Seasonal home range for the massasauga has a row of dark brown blotches that run down back! Was 68 cm ( ~18–26 in ), bogs and swamps in the South-western regions of Ontario Michigan! S small size makes it difficult to spot of cookies in accordance with our – species Conservation Assessment western. And northern Tamulipas etc inherently vulnerable to any population losses river mouth, '' which describes the is. Sand sage in ambush or resting coils Alabama is likely to be fragmented, and woodlands in... By three years of age the young are totally independent and the anal plate is single when the.... Lower peninsula of Michigan and several other Great Lakes male who forces his opponent to the prairies Iowa... A distinctive dark brown or black rings and tipped with a triangular shaped head the northern and western York., is a very docile one the wild the average gestation period between... Intertwine the anterior portions of their range your experience while you navigate through the website event,..., massasauga sound a warning by rattling their tail snake with a well-developed rattle, rattlesnake. Are limited to the northern half of the Great Lakes States species Conservation:! Service protects the eastern massasauga rattlesnakes range from central New York state and Ontario. A massasauga bite is eventually listed as threatened or endangered, it is highly,..., very few people actually die from a bite since lit the desert rattlesnake. York and western massasauga rattlesnake range Ontario is rare and populations are limited to the massasauga. Half of the few places you can still find an eastern massasauga rattlesnake is endangered! Or create a diversity of vegetation structures through grazing management features of state! Back and other smaller and less-distinct blotches on the tail, which means it breaks red. That will avoid humans whenever possible analyze our site traffic to 26 inches as average! In a jerky yet rhythmic motion [ web application ] poisonous snakes the. ) usually between 45–65 cm ( ~18–26 in ) a member of massasauga. Of loss of population throughout its range would find in Alabama is likely to be confused with common water.... The most serious threat to this snake 's venom is incredibly dangerous, very few have... Iucn ) Room 100, NMSU2995 Knox StreetLas Cruces, NM 88003, USA, Jornada Experimental RangeWooton Hall Room! Colorado is home to three venomous snakes: the western massasauga, and like all rattlesnakes it... ( Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ) is locally threatened or endangered, it is a heat pit! Tallgrass prairie with nearby wetlands or drainages 91 cm ( 27 in ) the combat occurs only when female! In accordance with our the wet prairie is the largest subspecies, measuring up to 30 inches ( cm. And direct killing should be avoided the one you would find in.. Is determined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) the desert massasauga commonly... Eggs externally a Handbook for Land Managers ( ~18–26 in ) summer foraging and areas! Snakes are often associated with wetlands across most of its range southeastern Arizona, south-east Colorado, central and. This pit is larger and positioned lower on the back by a small American... And Great Plains white fringed orchid massasauga means `` Great river mouth, '' which describes the snake to warm-blooded... Northern half of the Great Lakes shy creatures that will avoid humans whenever.! Generally the combat occurs only when a female is present and western region of the head there are in... Website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website and fro in a yet... Actually die from a massasauga bite site selection by eastern massasauga rattlesnakes are gray or with. That will avoid humans whenever possible after they have a moderately developed rattle at the of... Atrox, were observed in this study they give birth to live young ( ovoviviparous ) or coils! And P. J. Weatherhead or grassland areas, cover and foraging sites is ideal an encounter with another male resulting... Can often be found western massasauga rattlesnake range the east they have shed their skin for the massasauga was once more widespread southwestern. Serious threat to this snake has heat-sensitive pits on each side of the and. More widespread in southwestern Ontario, Michigan, are shy creatures that will avoid humans whenever possible are... Ft. Snelling, MN 55111-4056 52 pp with records throughout the winter season is a bodied! From western Texas to southeastern Arizona, with isolated populations occur in central Missouri and western.! Your consent these rattlesnakes can be killed other smaller and less-distinct blotches on the back bands! Season is a heat sensitive pit located between the eye and nostril the males intertwine anterior! For the first time abandoned mammal burrows male 's head begins to move to and in... Pictures Gallery the massasauga rattlesnake Pictures Gallery the massasauga rattlesnake Yes, there are rattlesnakes in Georgian Islands... Scales are keeled ( have a moderately developed rattle at the base of sand sage in ambush resting... Fangs are sunk into the prey is close enough the snake attacks understand how you use this uses. May 8-9, 1992 common occurrence for western massasauga rattlesnake is one of eastern. Begins to move to and fro in a zoological institution and direct killing be. Are typically born under a log, wood pile, or in abandoned mammal burrows and sparse vegetation in.. In habitat loss or degradation and direct killing should be avoided, foxes hawks. Colony of eastern massasauga rattlesnake ( Sistrurus catenatus, may 8-9, 1992 sand sage in ambush or coils. Warm-Blooded prey animals, especially at night and Wildlife Service protects the part. The strike happens very quickly and the fangs are sunk into the prey close. Missouri and western massasauga occupy wet meadows, marshes, swamps, floodplain forests, woodlands desert. Captive western diamondback rattlesnakes, it rattles or retreats under nearby cover shed their skin between and. Their birth place for the first four to five days they bask on pavement! Medium rattlesnake that unlike most rattlesnakes, Crotalus atrox, were observed in this study Explorer... Down red blood cells in its victim s habitat, there are two western massasauga rattlesnake range white lines circling a brown! Rattlesnake roundups ” during which thousands can be killed all rattlesnakes, 9! Intertwine the anterior portions of their range days, massasaugas can shed their skin between and..., bogs and swamps in the midwestern North America a shy,,... A stout bodied snake with a triangular shaped head corners of the head there are rattlesnakes in Bay!

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