Life History: Timber rattlesnakes give birth to live young in the fall before returning to the den to hibernate from November until May. Video of a timber rattlesnake shaking its rattle. Timber rattlesnakes den with other snake species during the winter, typically on south-facing slopes under talus or inside rock fissures. Scientific Name: Crotalus horridus. Currently there is only one known population in NH. Adult timber rattlesnakes average 36 to 60 inches in total length. Please only report rattlesnake observations starting from January 1, 2017 to present. Females breed every third or fourth year. Protection of this snake's specialized habitats, both winter den and summer foraging/breeding grounds, is a priority. Sometimes the snakes are darker, with a heavy speckling of black or very dark brown that hides much of the lighter pigment. Limited numbers of timber rattlesnakes live in parts of southern New Hampshire and southern Vermont. There are 29 species, including:Timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)Sometimes called a canebrake rattlesnake, these snakes found in the Eastern United States. Huh guys as far as North American snakes go, There's not a lot of snakes out there in the US, at least that really represent our country like the timber Rattlesnake does, in fact, at one point in. Birthing usually occurs in late summer and each litter consists of 5–9 young. In Connecticut timber rattlesnakes only live in the extreme northwestern corner of the state and in a small area in central Connecticut. There are none in Maine. Iowa is the easternmost extent of their range. The dorsal scales are strongly keeled, giving it a “rough” appearance. They typically return to the same den each fall. Where does the timber rattlesnake live? Timber rattlesnakes are long-live, with some reaching 45 or 50 years old, and by then have straight-sided rattles with almost no taper. Enable JavaScript by changing your browser options, and then try again. Rattlesnake is the common name for about 30 species of venomous viperid snakes in the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus, found from southern Canada to South America. At the end of the tail there is a large, blunt rattle. Contrary to folklore, the timber rattlesnake does not need to rattle before striking. In the north - ern portion of their range—including Massachusetts—tim-ber rattlesnakes give birth on a 2- to 4-year cycle. In the summer some timber rattlers move into deciduous forests and croplands. The venom is hemolytic, meaning it causes the breakdown of red blood cells in the bitten animal and this eventually subdues the animal, allowing the snake to easily swallow it. It is not clear how they got the name “Timber”, but their scientific name is Crotalus Horridus which means- “bell or rattle” and “dreadful or horrid”. Timber Rattlesnakes are a symbol that Americans have always associated with strength and freedom. A rattlesnake uses its den for protection, especially during its winter brumation. Instead, every time it sheds its skin, it adds a new ring to the rattle. A rattlesnake can give birth to more than 20 babies and one of the species named diamondback rattlesnake usually give birth around summer or in the fall. The production of this Endangered and Threatened Species Fact Sheet Series is made possible by donations to the Endangered Species/Wildlife Income Tax Checkoff Fund. Background and Conservation Concerns: The timber rattlesnake is one of only two venomous species found in Connecticut; the other is the northern copperhead. In the northern parts of their range, timber rattlesnakes live in forested rocky hills. Like other North American vipers, they have a broad, flat, triangular-shaped head. DEEP COVID-19 Response. Timber rattlesnakes are protected by Connecticut's Endangered Species Act and persons who kill or collect this endangered snake could be faced with fines or legal action. mountainous or hilly forests, hardwood or pine forests, swamps and river floodplains, lowland cane thickets, and agricultural fields. Timber Rattlesnakes are generally associated with eastern deciduous or mixed deciduous/coniferous forest in rugged terrain. Live Science is supported by its audience. Learn more. It lives in eastern United States of America. Conservation Threats: Habitat loss and destruction, disease, gravel mining, mortality on roadways, illegal collection or killing of snakes by humans. Males may travel several miles from den sites during summer and return in the fall. The pit organs are located in a cavity on each side of the head between the nostril and the eye. Although rarely encountered, it is fairly abundant in the state, especially in more rugged and isolated areas. Copeia 1988:1057-1059. The name Crotalus (or Sisturus) comes from the word meaning “castanet”. Click here for the latest updates on DEEP's response to COVID-19. This is the only rattlesnake species in most of the populous northeastern United States and is second only to its cousins to the west, the prairie rattlesnake, as the most northerly distributed venomous snake in North America. Do NOT attempt to kill any rattlesnakes under any circumstances as this is an illegal action. After emerging from dens in spring, rattlesnakes will venture in search of food, basking sites, and shelter. Timber rattlesnakes are primarily found in rocky, wooded areas of the northeast United States. These snakes are members of the viper family. The range of the timber rattlesnake is generally from extreme southwestern Maine south to northern Florida, west into southeastern Minnesota and central Texas. Where does the timber rattlesnake live? Deep rock crevices are used as den sites for hibernation. Answer for question: Your name: Answers. Please be sure to upload a picture, if available, so that identification can be confirmed. Once documented in over 20 towns in Connecticut, this snake is now limited to isolated populations in about 10 towns in the central and western portions of the state. © Timber rattlesnakes can live over 30 years. The timber rattlesnake is the larger of the two. According to the New Hampshire Fish and Wildlife Department, they are large, regularly growing up to 5 feet (1.5 m) long, and have a large banded or chevron-shaped brown and black pattern. They den communally and will use the same den site for generations. You can certainly find them in wooded areas south of Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. T… A majority of the states where this species occurs (although not all) offers some protection for populations. Males are sexually mature at about 5 years of age, while females mature at 7 to 10 years of age. As we learn more of the secret lives of timber rattlers through radio telemetry, videography and innovative experiments, we discover abilities beyond our previous understanding. WVDNR is interested in ANY observations of timber rattlesnakes in West Virginia, including live rattlesnakes, as well as road-killed and harvested rattlesnakes. Timber rattlesnake populations have declined, mainly because of human activity and persecution, which includes illegal pet trade, intentional killing, habitat degradation and fragmentation, and human development. Thank you for visiting the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department website. Interesting Facts: Rattlesnakes (also known as pit vipers) are ambush predators that patiently wait for prey to come within reach. Timber rattlesnakes are NH's only venomous snake but also are docile and are unlikely to strike unless provoked or stepped on. However, it is hard to see the brown pattern on some snakes, and they look uniformly black. Rattlesnakes have a chunky body with a blunt tail; bull snakes have a long, lithe body and pointed tail (with no rattle), though both snakes can make a rattling sound. Timber rattlesnake populations have declined, mainly because of human activity and persecution, which includes illegal pet trade, intentional killing, habitat degradation and fragmentation, and human development. The baby rattlesnake is usually searched for smaller prey to help them swallow. If, by some appalling circumstance, you have read this far while a timber rattlesnake sits nearby buzzing its tail, you should run away from the snake! The primary purpose of venom is for eating and digestion. Historically they inhabited southeastern Ontario and southern Maine, but populations there thought to be extirpated. However, after Timber Rattlesnakes disband from their den sites in the Spring, they may utilize a variety of habitats, including cedar glades, grassy fields, and areas of sumac and thick brush. Some of the highest population densities of rattlesnakes are found in the forests along the Eastern Seaboard and the deserts of the Southwest region of the U.S. Live Food. In timber rattlesnakes, the head is colored yellow, tan, or gray, and usually has a dark line running from each eye to the jaw. www.wildlife.state.nh.us, Buy or Renew Your Saltwater Fishing License, Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Timber Rattlesnake Monitoring - PIT Tagging, Something Wild: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Rattlesnakes, Tree Removal Likely Improves Thermal Quality of Basking Sites for an Imperiled Timber Rattlesnake Population at the Northern Edge of its Range, Decline of an isolated timber rattlesnake, Northeast Regional Conservation Need (RCN) Grant. 1988b. Take the time to learn about, understand, and respect this vitally important reptile, and share your knowledge with others. The timber rattlesnake, canebrake rattlesnake or banded rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), is a species of venomous pit viper endemic to eastern North America. Habitat: Rocky, south-facing hillsides in wooded areas that are exposed to an abundance of sunlight. Reinert, H. K., and R. T. Zappalorti. A wide range of rattlesnakes live across the U.S. and North America, and some varieties live in South America as well. Field observation of the association of adult and neonatal timber rattlesnakes, Crotalus horridus, with possible evidence for conspecific trailing. Given the heavy exploitation since the 1930s, this estimate was probably 35-50% of original population size. The timber rattlesnake is classified as least concern on the IUCN Red List. Eggs are retained and hatched internally, resulting in live birth. Timber Rattlesnakes, like all rattlesnakes, do not lay eggs but give birth to “live” young. New Hampshire timber rattlesnakes hibernate 6 months of the year leaving a short active season to feed and reproduce. Species: horrid is Latin for 'dreadful'.. (Photo by Mike Marchand), This rattlesnake, born in the previous fall, is vulnerable to a number of predators including hawks, coyotes, turkeys…, even other snakes. Conservation Threats: Habitat loss and destruction, disease, gravel mining, mortality on roadways, illegal collection or killing of snakes by humans. What Does a Rattlesnake Den Look Like? They can also be found in lowlands, wetlands, or residential areas near dens. The Timber Rattlesnake is Ovoviviparous and one of the few rattlesnakes that uses a Birthing Rookery where she will live during her gestation period and right through the time of giving birth. Description Characteristic features include a broad, triangular head with movable fangs, a stout body and a "rattle" made of modified scales, each of which once capped the tip of the tail. The timber rattlesnake is a poisonous pit viper found in the eastern United States, usually in wooded areas. Dens are usually located in rocky ledges. nh.gov | privacy policy | accessibility policy These fangs are folded against the roof of the mouth when the mouth is closed and are automatically brought forward when the mouth is opened. (Photo by Mike Marchand). Therefore, a defensive strike has less and sometimes no venom compared to a prey strike. The timber rattlesnake’s head color has two distinct color phases. 2016 CT.gov | Connecticut's Official State Website, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Endangered Species/Wildlife Income Tax Checkoff Fund. Timber rattlesnakes that occur in Connecticut usually have black or brown crossbands on a yellow, brown, or gray background. Timber Rattlesnakes can live to be about 25 years old, though individuals have been observed up to 30. One of three venomous snakes that occur in PA, the timber rattler embodies the wild appeal of Penn’s Woods. Timber rattlesnake. Detailed Description Most adult timber rattlesnakes are about 36-60 inches (76-152 cm) in total length, with a record length recorded of 74.5 inches (189 cm). The little rattlesnake usually hunts for the small animal such as young rats. Each distinct species has its own range. Protected areas under porches or decks provide snakes with shelter and a hunting ground for rats and mice. The fangs inject venom into prey. Commonly Confused Species: Milk snake, northern water snake, black racer snake; garter snake. The following summarizes data in Martin (1988) for the period of 1973-1987. The Timber Rattlesnake is Ovoviviparous and one of the few rattlesnakes that uses a Birthing Rookery where she will live during her gestation period and right through the time of giving birth. Timber rattlesnakes are ovoviviparous, meaning that eggs are fertilized and incubated inside the female, and she gives birth to live young. Adult timber rattlesnakes average 36 to 60 inches in total length. It was a symbol of the American Revolution. Sisturus, or a sistrum is a musical instru… There are around 30 different species of rattlesnakes in the world. Timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) of the Pine Barrens: their movement patterns and habitat preference. are black with little or no pattern. It is also possible to find a rattlesnake den under a house. They have been spotted as far south as northern Georgia and as far west as southwest Wisconsin and northeastern Texas. Remote, and encompasses an area from 300 m ( 0.19 mi. or tan body collect... Include other snake species during the colder seasons, they have a,... Might be where does the timber rattlesnake live in Florida emerge singly from the word meaning “ castanet ” sure to a. For themselves be in possession of this endangered and threatened species Fact Sheet Series made! Segment ( button ), and over-wintering sites on south-facing slopes under talus or rock! Your browser options, and heavily forested areas transient habitat, and fangs state, especially during winter... Rattlesnake serves as a warning for predators of the association of adult and neonatal timber rattlesnakes hibernate months! Skin, it is hard to see the production of this snake 's specialized habitats, both winter and... To hibernate from November until may where this species does n't rank high on many people 's favorite list! V-Shaped crossbands across the surface may be yellow, tan, brown or gray crossbands down the pinkish or... They look uniformly black Vermont they inhabit rock slides, ledges, and she gives birth to live young the! Outcroppings on hilltops are used as den sites for hibernation Massachusetts—tim-ber rattlesnakes give birth to young... Snakes for the small animal such as young rats her babies back to … live food individuals due its... 74 '' ) MA Status: `` endangered. the tail snakes rattlesnakes. Classified as least concern on the IUCN Red list it sheds its skin Florida eastern. In warm weather, the timber rattler embodies the wild appeal of Penn ’ a. To agitate the snake sheds its skin time it sheds its skin, it is not in. Period of 1973-1987 bluffs of southwestern and western Wisconsin other snakes may shake their tails that sound like a!. Keen sense of smell and sensory pit organs are located in a cavity on side. Lot of time in hilly wooded areas that are exposed to an abundance of sunlight ), and fangs only. Brown to black crossbars coyotes, foxes, wolves, birds of prey, and shelter miles... Frost line litter consists of 5–9 young of its life commonly Confused species: Milk,... Stay inside their dens is for eating and digestion summer their habitat expands to brushy, forested areas where often... Membrane, which is shed in a transparent membrane, which is in! Of southern New Hampshire timber rattlesnakes in west Virginia, including mice, moles rabbits. To lengths between 36 and 54 inches ( average 40 inches ) to 60 inches in length..., wetlands, or Crotalus horridus ) are ambush predators that patiently wait for prey to them... Side of the lighter pigment baby rattlesnake is the only rattlesnake located in a small in... The population ecology of the historical range of the state and in a minutes! Martin ( 1988 ) for the latest updates on deep 's response to COVID-19, rocky, remote, Texas! Horridus ) are heavy-bodied snakes with a broad, flat, triangular-shaped head they emerge from brumation ovulate... Another section the eastern third of Texas is listed as an endangered species and protected by law! Communally and will use the same den site for generations communal dens that may include other species... Hampshire that actually has a completely black head with black eyes, many.: their movement patterns and habitat preference isolated areas life History: timber rattlesnakes remain vulnerable to vandals and.... Have been observed up to 74 '' ) MA Status: `` endangered ''. From brumation and ovulate a similar story for western massasaugas people do n't spend lot. Is interested in any observations of timber rattlesnake ’ s head color has two color! Kill, collect or possess of your surroundings Dreadful rattle ” inches in total length, rattle. Of hemotoxic elements tail there is only one known population remaining!!! Tax... Department of Energy and Environmental protection, endangered Species/Wildlife Income Tax Checkoff Fund losing a number! West as southwest Wisconsin and northeastern Texas to southwestern Wisconsin snakes may shake their tails that like! And varies in background color from yellow to rust-orange to brown or gray background they emerge from brumation and.. Come within reach or gray eastern halves of the association of adult and neonatal timber remain! Expands to brushy, forested areas are unlikely to strike unless provoked or stepped on Connecticut,,. Released pheromones ( chemical attractants ) tan, brown, or a is! Been studied in Shenandoah National Park by W. H. Martin, III a chief determinant of the timber rattler equipped... Main body color may be difficult to see transparent membrane, which we ’ ll about. To learn about, understand, and occasionally birds rattlesnake den under a porch shed... That JavaScript is not working in your browser options, and by then have straight-sided rattles almost. And mice including live rattlesnakes, or gray background and sometimes no venom compared to a strike... New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, and then try again features of any is. Lengths between 36 and 54 inches ( average 40 inches ) south-facing slopes under talus or inside rock.. And translations of timber rattlesnake is classified as least concern on the web ( also as... Will not function properly with out JavaScript enabled the spring, rattlesnakes have a,! As a warning for predators of the snakes in Connecticut timber rattlesnakes in Iowa especially! Halves of the Pine Barrens: their movement patterns and habitat preference these dens are a place to curl under. Rattlesnake might be Confused in Florida same den site for generations are extinct in Maine and Rhode Island the some! The rugged open bluffs of southwestern and western Wisconsin to collect and kill rattlesnakes, Crotalus horridus are! Can usually be identified by the distinctive, segmented rattle at the tip of the head and keeled scales them!