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Georgia's Reptiles and Amphibians

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Carolina/Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake

Carolina Pigmy Rattlesnake (Sisturus miliarius miliarius)
Dusky Pigmy Rattlensnake (Sisturus miliarius barbouri)


Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake
Photo by Mitch Mimier; Found in Liberty County, Fl

Carolina Pigmy Rattlesnake
Photo by John Zegel; Location unknown


The Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius barbouri) and the Carolina Pigmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius miliarius) are small heavy bodied snakes. Both subspecies are usually grey or a grayish brown with dark blotches, and a gold or orange stripe that runs down the back of the snake. Some are very light in coloration while some that are found in Florida are very dark. In several counties in northern South Carolina and southern North Carolina the Carolina Pigmy Rattlesnakes are sometimes very bright red. The juveniles of both subspecies look identical to the adults, except for they have a sulfur yellow tail. The average length for a Carolina Pigmy is between 14-20 inches. The longest recorded was just over 2ft. The average length for a Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake is 20 inches and the longest record is at 31 inches.



The Carolina Pigmy Rattlesnake lives in boggy wetlands, coastal pinewoods, scrub oak inhabitant of sandy substrates. Farther inland they can be found in the both pine and open, mixed woodlands, near water sources and in driers areas. The Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake is mostly found in the Longleaf Pine/Saw Pine habitat that is common in Florida, southern Georgia, and southern Alabama. The can also be found in bottomland hardwood forest, wet saw-grass, dry hammocks, and the prairies.



Both subspecies feed upon small animals which include frogs, mice, lizards, snakes, and insects like centipedes.


Abundance and Behavior:

The Carolina Pigmy Rattlesnake is not a very common snake species. They can be found in all of South Carolina, Northwest Georgia, and in North Carolina. The Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake on the other hand is the most common venomous snakes in Florida. They can be found in every county in Florida, southern Georgia and southern Alabama. Both subspecies will rattle if threaten but it is very hard to here them since they have such tiny rattles. They will hibernate except for in Southern Florida where it is warm all year around. They diurnal (comes out during the day) during the cooler months while during the summer they are nocturnal. They can be found crossing the roads at dusk and at night. They will sometimes be found several feet up off the ground in bushes or in palmettos.


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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.