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Timber Rattlesnake

Crotalus horridus

Common Names:


The status of the Timber rattlesnake is s protected from take in Pennsylvania. The Timber Rattlesnake is currently listed as a Endangered, and is a Protected Wild Animal in in many of its indiginous range. It has disappeared from three states.

This rangewide decline has also prompted a review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for possible protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Timber rattlers have a thick body and a well pronounced triangular head. The top of the head is unmarked but a dark stripe runs behind each eye. The ground coloration ranges from yellow to brown or even nearly black. Thin bans called run along the length of the snake’s back. The black or dark brown bans are only 2 to 4 scales wide and each is separated by 4 to 6 scales. Down the center of the back a wonderful rusty orange stripe may be present. The underside is usually the same as the ground color on the back but without bands. The tail area is solid black tipped with a tan rattle. They gain a new button or rattle each time they shed.

The average length of an adult is 3 to 3˝ ft. but some can reach over 6 ft.



Eastern United States


A specific type of habitat is required for the timber rattlesnakes. Heavily forested areas, hillsides and fields near wooded areas are perfect for the summer. Then for early fall they had back toward communal den sites. The dens are usually located in rocky crevices or out cropping that run deep down in the earth, below the frost line. Through fall they will remain near the den and on cool nights they can retreat for shelter. Once it becomes to cold they will remain in the den with other snakes and hibernate until spring, this is usually late April to early May depending on the temperature.


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