Timber Rattlesnake

Crotalus horridus

Timber Rattlesnake Timber Rattlesnake
Photo by Eric Williams Photo by Robert Rold Photography
Timber Rattlesnake
Photo by Robert Rold Photography

Description:  The Timber Rattlesnake ranges in size from 3-5 feet.  Coloration is variable, ranging from brown to yellow to black.  Body is crossed with dark bands.  The pupils of the eyes are vertical.  A heat-sensing pit is located midway between the eye and nostril.  A rattle made of dry scales is located at the end of the black tail.  Scales on the back are keeled and the anal plate is not divided.  The scales on the underside of the tail are in a single row.

Habitat:  Found in a variety of habitats but usually in rocky, mountainous regions.

Behavior:  The Timber Rattlesnake is venomous.  They often will remain motionless when encountered, and will rely on their camouflage instead of rattling to remain undetected.  Aging rattlesnakes by counting the number of rattles is unreliable.  Some snakes will shed up to 5 times a year, adding a new rattle each time.  As the rattlesnake ages, the terminal rattles will break off.

More infomormation:

Timber Rattlesnake - KY Snake Identification @ UK
Timber Rattlesnake - Common Reptiles of KY @ Murray State University
Timber Rattlesnake - NatureServe Explorer
Snakes: Information for KY Homeowners - UK Cooperative Extension

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Daviess County Audubon Society