Photo credit:

Courtenay Harding

Common name

Timber/Canebrake Rattlesnake

Scientific name

Crotalus horridus

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Federal and State Protections

Federal Protection - Canada (likely extirpated)
State Protected - Maine (extirpated), Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Texas, New York, New Hampshire, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Connecticut, Vermont, Kansas, Maryland, Oklahoma, Illinois
Other -"Canebrake" Subpopulation State Protected in Virginia, Under consideration for state protection in Nebraska

Countries of Occurrence

United States of America, Canada

States or Providence 

Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky,Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Ontario (extirpated), Maine (extirpated), Rhode Island (extirpated)



Adult size

36-60 inches (90-152 cm)
Record size: 74.5 in. (189.2 cm)

Species Description

The Timber Rattlesnake; also called the Canebrake Rattlesnake in the coastal south, is a large-bodies species of rattlesnake found in a variety of habitats. Most often it is found in hardwood hillsides, mountain valleys, forest edges, but southern populations may also occupy cypress swamps, barrier islands, and pine thickets. It is also highly variable across its range, with individuals coming in shades of black, tan, brown gray and even pinkish-lavender in parts of Georgia and Florida.

This species is often killed while crossing roads at dusk and morning, leaving isolated populations extremely vulnerable to development.

Timber and Canebrake rattlesnakes are one of only a handful of rattlesnake species with recorded arboreal (tree-climbing) behavior.

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