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