Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Facts
- The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is a highly venomous species of pit viper. The animal evolved as endemic to the southeastern United States.
- This rattlesnake also ranks as the heaviest venomous snake in either North America or South America. It is not the longest, however.
- The IUCN currently lists it as a species of Least Concern. This status currently remains under review, however.
- Estimates place its current numbers at only 3% of what they once were. Habitat loss and highway mortality, coupled with a low reproductive rate form the primary factors in its decline.
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Physical Description
The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake averages roughly 5.5 ft (1.7 m) in length. Exceptional individuals sometimes reach lengths of as much as 8 ft (2.4 m).
Adults typically reach 10 lb (4.5 kg) in weight, and males usually grow larger than females.
The color pattern consists of shades of brown, yellow, gray, and olive. This is also overlaid with a series of 24-35 black or dark brown diamond shapes.
Though not overtly aggressive, the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake remains considered the most dangerous snake in North America.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Reptilia
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Viperidae
- Genus: Crotalus
- Species: C. adamanteus
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Distribution and Ecology
The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is endemic to a specific range of the southeastern United States. This range also extends along the coastal plain, from eastern North Carolina to southeastern Louisiana.
This increasingly rare animal is most numerous in Alabama and Georgia. It is believed to now be extinct in North Carolina and Louisiana, however.
A typical bite also produces 3-4 times the amount of venom needed to kill an average human. Antivenom is readily available in most medical facilities throughout its range, however. Therefore, attacks usually only become fatal if left untreated.
It remains rather adaptable and will inhabit a wide range of habitat types. These include pine forests, sandhills, coastal hammocks, and most types of swampy areas.
The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake also typically resides within burrows previously excavated by other animals.