NNTRC Snakes

Scientific Name

Crotalus horridus

Common Name 

Timber Rattlesnake

Physical Characteristics

Length, 36-74 in. (91-188 cm). Timber Rattlesnakes are large, stout-bodied snakes. The ground color can be highly variable and range from pink, yellow, brown, grey, or black. Along the back are V-shaped crossbands which break up towards the head. Throughout the southern and western part of its range, individuals have a reddish mid-dorsal stripe that splits the dark crossbands in half. Dark spots or blotches are present along each side of the body. A dark stripe from the eye to the angle of the jaw is present in individuals from the southern portion of the range.

Geographic Range (USA)

East Texas, eastern Oklahoma, eastern Kansas, southeastern Nebraska, southeastern Minnesota, southern and eastern Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, northern Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, western and southeastern Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, southwestern Wisconsin, south central Ohio, western Maryland, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and southern Vermont.

Mapbutton button

Hardwood forests with rocky outcrops and pine flatwoods, bottomlands, cane thickets, and swampy areas


Mammals (rodents, rabbits, squirrels), birds, and occasionally other snakes, lizards, and frogs may be eaten.


Hemorrhagins are the predominant toxins, resulting in extensive tissue damage and edema.


Due to its size and the large amount of venom it can deliver in a bite, this snake is considered very dangerous.

This page was last updated on: February 12, 2016