EASTERN DIAMONDBACK RATTLESNAKE


Scientific name: Crotalus adamanteus

Size

The average size of a mature Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is 3 - 6 feet in length. The longest length on record is 96 inches (8 feet). The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is the largest rattlesnake, as well as the largest venomous snake, native to the United States.

Description

The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is a heavy, thick-bodied snake. The body of the snake has dark diamond-shaped patterns that run along the snake's spine. The center of the diamonds are typically brown, and the diamonds are definitively outlined in a cream color. The diamond pattern usually fades to a lighter brown or gray color near the tail, and often turns into a banding pattern or fades completely at the end of the tail. The end of the tail has a rattle on it.

There is a distinctive dark cheek-stripe on both sides of the head that starts at the eye and runs diagonally down and backwards to the jaw. This stripe is outlined on both sides by cream-colored stripes. On the tip of the nose of the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake are two small, cream stripes that start between the nostrils and run down the nose to just underneath the chin. The underside of the body is typically dark tan to brown in color.

The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake has elliptical pupils that look like cat's eyes and like all pit vipers, has a heat-sensing pit between the nostril and eye on each side of its head. The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake has a large, triangular head that is wider than the neck when viewed from above.

Distribution

In the United States, the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is found in the southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Map of US states the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is found in.
Map does not show area of true distribution, only the states in which there is a population.
Actual distribution in any highlighted state may be limited.

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake photo
Photo used by permission:
© 1999 Wolfgang Wuster

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake photo
Photo © 2003 David W. George

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake photo
Photo © 2003 David W. George

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake photo
Photo © 2003 David W. George

For more information on venomous snakes, please see the Venomous Links page.


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