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Georgia's Reptiles and Amphibians

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Timber/Canebrake Rattlesnake

Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus horridus)
Canebrake Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus atricaudatus)


Timber Rattlesnake
Found in Murray County, Ga


The Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus horridus) and the Canebrake Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus atricaudatus) are heavy bodied pit vipers. The Timber Rattlesnake is the northern subspecies while the Canebrake is the southern subspecies. Both subspecies have black chevrons or cross bands. The Timber Rattlesnake has several various on its background color. In the most northern states of the US they can be black but are normally grey or yellowish brown. The Canebrake Rattlesnake has lighter back ground which the background has a pinkish tint to it. The Canebrake also has a rusty, orange or brown stripe that runs the length of its body. The juveniles of both subspecies look identical to the adults. The Timber Rattlesnake is usually smaller than its cousin the Canebrake. The average length for the Timber is between 3-4ft while the record just exceeds 6ft. The average length for the Canebrake is 3 ½ft to 4 ½ft while the record is just over 6ft.



The Timber Rattlesnake is found mostly in the rocky outcrops of mountains. Also any other mountains habitat is the Eastern US. They have been known to be up in some really high attitudes in which were over 14,000ft. The Canebrake Rattlesnake is mostly associated with the costal plains region of the southeastern US. The nickname for the canebrake in some parts of the southeast is “Swamp Rattler” mostly because they can be found around the edges of most swamps. Canebrakes can be found around old abandoned farms and houses which the debris can give shelter to this snake.



Both subspecies mostly feed on small mammals such as chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, rats and mice. They sometimes will also eat birds.


Abundance and Behavior:

The Timber Rattlesnake used to be very common in the Northeastern US but over hunting and destroying of den sites have decimated the populations. In most states they are now considered an endangered species. Timber/Canebrake Rattlesnake has one of the largest distributions other than the copperhead. They are found in every state in the southeast. The Canebrake though is still very common in many states of the southeast. They can be found in every county in Georgia, and are still very common in the most north and most south part of the state. The Timber Rattlesnake is mostly diurnal (comes out during the day) throughout the year while the Canebrake Rattlesnake is diurnal during spring and fall. In the summer months Canebrakes are mostly nocturnal (comes out during the day). The Timber Rattlesnake will hibernate in massive den sites throughout the Northern States where as many as several hundred will gather in one den site. Most of these den sites are for the most part non-existent since over collecting and killing of this snake species.


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Live and Let Live

All photos are taken by myself unless noted otherwise. All photos are Copyright 2005-2006. If you would like to use any of my photos just email me and I will be happy to let anyone use them.


Need Help Identifing a Snake In your area? First though look through the photos of the snakes and if still have questions email me at and I will take a look at it. And most likely be able to get you a correct anwser. Also please do not send me pictures of snakes that have been choped up into pieces. This really distresses me and I have gotten several emails where there were people who showed me pictures of snakes that they killed and all have turned out to be non-venomous.


Never Pick Up, Handle, or Try To Kill Any Venomous Snakes! Most Bites Occur That Way! Never Pick Up A Snake That You Are Uncertain About!


Disclaimer!!! Please do not do anything you see me do on this website. Some of these animals are very dangerous and I understand the risk of working with them. The bite from some of these animals can easily kill me or do extreme harm. If you do want to get into venomous herpeculture please do as much research as possible about them before considering working with them. Also I would suggest getting proper training from professional before working with them too. I do not accept any responsibility for anyone elses actions.