Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii
Desert Massasauga

Click on a picture to see a larger version in a different window
Other Names: Edward's Massasauga, Edward's Rattlesnake
Description: A small 14"-32" Rattlesnake. They are a light silver-gray to gray-brown rattlesnake. Large, oval, crisp-edged, dark brown blotches line the back. A row of faded, soft-edged blotches lines each side. Below that row there are two additional rows of crisp-edged, dark gray-brown blotches. A dark brown bar bordered by a thin white lower-edge extends back from each eye. The underside is usually plain cream or white. The pupils are vertically elliptical and the scales are keeled. Head is triangular.
Venom: Venomous
Habitat: Found in valleys, on low sloping alluvial fans and on rolling grass-covered hills within the semidesert grassland. Found at elevations ranging from about 3,500' to about 4,600'.
Behavior: t is primarily nocturnal, but is occasionally encountered in the morning, on overcast days, or just before sunset. It spends most of it's time underground in rodent burrows.
Hibernation: Hibernates during the cold months, most likely
Reproduction: Livebearing, gives live birth to a litter of 4 to 8 young in late summer. Young have a yellow tail that is used to lure lizards.
Diet: They eat lizards, frogs, centipedes, mice, and other small mammals.
Authored by: Garth Teitjen