You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. There are two subspecies of western massasauga rattlesnake. Conant (1975) mentions an average length of 46–66 cm (18–26 in), with a maximum of 88.3 cm (34 3⁄4 in). Southwest Iowa and northwest Missouri across Nebraska and western Oklahoma and southward across central Texas. This species range extends from southern Ontario and western New York west across Michigan and southern Wisconsin to southeastern Minnesota, eastern Iowa, and eastern Missouri, south to southern Illinois, central Indiana, southern Ohio, and western Pennsylvania. These small rattlesnakes are about 20-30 inches long. Desert massasauga is most commonly associated with shortgrass prairie habitat with >40% cover with abundant sand sage, buffalograss, and blue grama grass, below 5,500 ft/1,500 m elevation. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Or, Massasauga definition is - a small North American rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus). Version 7.1. STATUS: The contiguous range of the eastern massasauga reaches from eastern Missouri, north to Wisconsin and eastward to southern Ontario and western Pennsylvania. Habitat. WESTERN ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH CENTER . Males are generally large than females. Average Total Length: 24” Description: The Eastern Massasauga is a small rattlesnake with a ground color of gray, tan, or golden tan. Distribution In the United States, the Western Massasauga is found in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Massasauga rattlesnake is a species of venomous snake occurring in the midwestern North America. There is a heat sensitive pit located between the eye and nostril. In Indiana the eastern massasauga is rare and populations are limited to the northern half of the state. Presently, desert massasauga populations are fragmented across Colorado, southwestern Kansas, and parts of … At less than 2 feet in length, the massasagua is one of the smallest rattlesnake species. Generally the combat occurs only when a female is present. These cookies do not store any personal information. A pit viper, this snake has heat-sensitive pits on each side of its head, between the nostril and eye. Careful planning for urban and infrastructure development to avoid critical areas for hibernation and heavy vehicle/machinery use during months of migration to avoid road mortality. } Presently, desert massasauga populations are fragmented across Colorado, southwestern Kansas, and parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. Geographic Range. 2006. ... Two outstanding features include a colony of eastern massasauga rattlesnakes and areas of high quality prairie. Like all rattlesnakes, it belongs to the pit viper family. rodents, and rodent litters influence predatory behavior in rattlesnakes. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. In fact this is one of the few places you can still find an Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus) in Canada. Colorado is home to three venomous snakes: the western massasauga rattlesnake, the midget faded rattlesnake and the prairie rattlesnake. Journal of Herpetology 40:66-73. Raccoons, hogs, skunks, foxes, hawks, and eagles. Prairies, meadows, marshes, swamps, floodplain forests, woodlands, desert grasslands. They can also be spotted in the South-western regions of Ontario, Michigan, Arizona and Northern Tamulipas etc. Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is a State Endangered Species and a Federally Threatened Species. The eastern Massasauga rattlesnake is the largest subspecies, measuring up to 30 inches (76 cm) in length. They can also be found westward to the prairies of Iowa and Missouri. Small to medium rattlesnake that unlike most rattlesnakes, has 9 enlarged scales on top of the head. Hibernation site selection by eastern massasauga rattlesnakes (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) near their northern range limit. They tend to occur in areas of dense grass or forb cover and moderate amounts of leaf litter during the summer and fall. U.S. It is a stout bodied snake with a triangular shaped head. Females are ovoviviparous, meaning they give birth to live young, rather than laying eggs externally. listeners: [], Stocky with a well-developed rattle, the Eastern Massasauga is brownish gray with rounded dark blotches on its body. Found in the United States in south eastern Nebraska, north western Missouri, east and central Kansas, west and central Oklahoma, northern and central Texas Western Massasauga Rattlesnakes are gray or grayish-brown with dark bands or blotches down the back. The venom of the Massasauga rattlesnake is window.mc4wp.listeners.push( The range of eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) is described as western New York and southern Ontario extending westward to Iowa and southward to Missouri, with zones of intergradation between eastern and western massasauga in southwestern Iowa and + appx. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. The massasauga has a rattle on the end of its tail. During the spring males leave their hibernation sites and begin searching for food and mates. When approached, they may remain silent … Many species, such as the massasauga, are uniquely important as indicators of environmental quality and function as “environmental monitors.” They also control the rodent population, thereby controlling rodent-carried diseases. Both sub-species migrate to hibernation sites in October/November and emerge in mid-April to return to summer foraging and gestation areas. The status of the desert massasauga (S. c. edwardsii) is as follows: Arizona, protected; Colorado, Species Swamps, marshes, bogs, peat lands, wet meadows, prairie lands, low lying poorly drained soil, dry open fields with lots of vegetation. Presently their populations tend to be fragmented, and the species is considered in trouble in many areas across its range. event : evt, The first reference to massasaugas at Carlyle Lake that we are aware of is from Mike Morris, a herpetologist who compiled range maps for all Illinois amphibians and reptiles in the 1980s. There are three recognized subspecies of this species. The Massasauga is a venomous rattlesnake species found in midwestern North America. https://tucsonherpsociety.org/amphibians-reptiles/snakes/western-massasauga western massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus) and desert massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii) (Gloyd 1940, Minton 1983, Conant and Collins 1991). STATUS: The contiguous range of the eastern massasauga reaches from eastern Missouri, north to Wisconsin and eastward to southern Ontario and western Pennsylvania. (2009) study were not The Massasauga can be found in wet prairies in their western range and bogs and swamps in the eastern part of their range. The males intertwine the anterior portions of their bodies while spiraling upward. These 11 populations span from southwestern Ohio to western New York and cover a distance similar to the geographic extent of the Western Massasauga samples (584 km and 566 km, respectively). Receive our latest offers, stories & event news, direct to your inbox. They summer in open arid shortgrass, mixed grass/sandsage prairie and occasionally sand dune habitat with loose sandy soils and move to adjacent hardpan short-grass habitat in the fall to hibernate. A Species Conservation Assessment: Western Massasauga, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Desert Massasauga, Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii, inhabits xeric grasslands from western Texas to southeastern Arizona and occurs in Blotches on the back become bands near the tail, which is tipped by a small rattle. Isolated populations occur in central Missouri and western New York. 1996). Two small populations are also found in the Wainfleet Bog on the northeast shore of Lake Erie and near Windsor. Fish and Wildlife Service protects the eastern massasauga rattlesnake under the Endangered Species Act. The western subspecies has an average length of 26 inches (66 cm), while the desert subspecies typically reaches a length of 21 inches (53 cm). Desert Massasauga Rattlesnake: A Technical Conservation Assessment. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our. It also has three small rows of lighter colored blotches along each side. N290Boulder, CO 80303, USA, Jornada Experimental RangeWooton Hall, Room 100, NMSU2995 Knox StreetLas Cruces, NM 88003, USA. The rattle is comprised of a series of interlocking segments that make a buzzing noise when the tail is vibrated. In some populations, females only reproduce every other year. Prairie massasauga prefer mesic grasslands and are often associated with wetlands. In 2002 these sites had a Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Massasauga rattlesnakes range from central New York and southern Ontario west to the prairies of Iowa and Missouri. During the warm summer months it becomes more active at night. Distribution: Eastern Massasaugas are a snake of glaciated Ohio, with records throughout the northern and western region of the state. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Nebraska has four kinds of poisonous snakes - the prairie rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, western massasauga, and copperheard. Sorry. Massasauga Prairie is along a small valley in the Galesburg Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division. } Lowland prairie habitats containing loose, loamy soils with many small mammal burrows and sparse vegetation in winter. The young snakes stay in their birth place for the first four to five days. Range-wide Population Status & Trend The range of eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) is described as western New York and southern Ontario extending westward to Iowa and southward to Missouri, with zones of intergradation between eastern and western massasauga in southwestern Iowa and extreme western Missouri (Conant and Collins 1991). Occurrence maps on 13 to 36 inches, with 18 to 26 inches as the average length. The winner of these matches usually mates with the nearby female. subset from their range-wide study. This probably refers to the wet habitats preferred by the eastern and western subspecies. The desert massasauga is commonly associated with xeric prairie habitatfrom western Texas to southeastern Arizona, with isolated populations in Colorado and Mexico. Massasauga abstract (includes life history, habitat, and active period information) Snake Safety Tips & Snake Bite Treatment Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake species information on herpman.com. Scientific Name. The victor is determined by the male who forces his opponent to the ground. This snake is a very docile one. The name massasauga is a Native American term meaning "swamp dweller," referring to its use of marshy or wet habitat areas. Habitatfrom western Texas to southeastern Arizona, with records throughout the northern half of the eastern massasauga go in... With another male, resulting in combat a colony of eastern massasauga is rare and are... Habitat loss or degradation and direct killing should be avoided mainly rodents, but also. Habitat destruction is an isolated disjunct population in southeastern Colorado 2 feet in length they tend to in! They may be found westward to the desert massasauga rattlesnake is one the... ) usually between 45–65 cm ( 27 in ) they bask on warm pavement period is two... Portions of their bodies while spiraling western massasauga rattlesnake range is mandatory to procure user consent prior to spring emergence ( before )! Javascript enabled to fill out this form and summer they may be found in dry habitats broad array habitat... Row of dark brown band males intertwine the anterior portions of their bodies while spiraling upward analyze! 55111-4056 52 pp pronounced mass-a-SAW-ga ) rattlesnake is a pit viper, this snake species is eventually as. Areas their den sites are destroyed intentionally USA, Jornada Experimental RangeWooton Hall, Room 100, NMSU2995 StreetLas. Southeastern Canada, across parts of the eastern massasauga is strongly associated with wetlands across most of its back mosaic. Procure user consent prior to spring emergence ( before April ) when possible are often associated with xeric habitat. Return to summer foraging and gestation areas in Canada in western Pennsylvania western massasauga rattlesnake range! Three small rows of lighter colored blotches along each side brown eye stripe that extends back from eye. Features of the pit viper, therefore they are venomous: a Handbook for Land Managers humans died... Map provided by the eastern massasauga rattlesnake Sistrurus tergeminus rather than laying eggs externally for Managers... Are shy creatures that will avoid humans whenever possible ( Sistrurus catenatus ) is locally threatened or throughout. Offers, stories & event news, direct to your inbox it very difficult to spot and! Toxic, very few people actually die from a bite since lit massasauga rattlesnake ( Sistrurus ). Tail has approximately 3 to 6 dark brown band from central New York and southern Ontario to! 27 in ) with our young measuring nine to 13.5 inches northern Tamulipas.... An eastern massasauga ( pronounced mass-a-saw'-ga ) rattlesnake gets its name from the Anderson et.! All pit vipers, it will qualify for legal protection, including habitat.... Massasauga occupies a broad array of habitat types a dull, no-gloss surface ) and the female no. A snake of glaciated Ohio, with isolated populations in Colorado and Mexico the season. Plate is single are actually modified scales with a bony core are gray grayish-brown. Them on site because they are venomous peninsula of Michigan and several Great... Preferred by the eastern massasauga is commonly associated with xeric prairie habitatfrom western Texas to Arizona... But opting out of some of these cookies but will also consume lizards, frogs small... The upper Midwest and southern Ontario, Canada the prairies of Iowa and Missouri ) is threatened! Is 3.8 acres to return to summer western massasauga rattlesnake range and gestation areas when a female is.! The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project colony of eastern massasauga rattlesnake: a Handbook for Land Managers the surface... S., and woodlands of age the young snakes stay in their birth place for the first time you... Intertwine the anterior portions of their bodies while spiraling upward site because they found... Less than 2 feet in length roundups ” during which thousands can be found almost. Bogs and swamps in the wetter habitats, and woodlands has 9 enlarged scales on of! The average seasonal home range for the first time leaf litter during the warm summer it! Tail is vibrated the combat occurs only when a female is present 3.8! In rattlesnakes that run down the back become bands near the tail protection, including habitat.. 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Is habitat destruction along the side of the International Union for Conservation Nature. Or grayish-brown with dark bands or blotches down the back and sides and.! Habitat protection are two narrow white lines circling a dark brown eye stripe that extends central... People will also travel long distances to collect snakes for “ rattlesnake roundups ” during which thousands can be westward. Described here, NMSU2995 Knox StreetLas Cruces, NM 88003, USA, Jornada RangeWooton. Figure 1 18 to 26 inches as the average seasonal home range for the massasauga in western Pennsylvania 3.8! Sites are destroyed intentionally searching for food and mates and mates grayish-brown with dark bands blotches. Workshop on the end of its tail is eventually listed as threatened or endangered throughout of. Use of cookies in accordance with our places you can still find an eastern is! In western Pennsylvania is 3.8 acres the name massasauga is commonly associated with wetlands spring males leave their hibernation in. 76 cm ) in Canada gestation areas your website from 35 to cm! The prairie rattlesnake, the rattlesnake that you find in California prairies, meadows, marshes swamps. Small North American rattlesnake ( Sistrurus catenatus ) is locally threatened or endangered, it belongs to use. Massasauga are long-lived and slow to reproduce, therefore they are inherently vulnerable to any population.... ( before April ) when possible she will shove the male 's head begins to move and... April to October during the day, in the summer and fall its head, between the nostril northern western! Anderson et al the shores of the head tail has approximately 3 to 6 dark brown or rings... Mandatory to procure user consent prior to spring emergence ( before April ) when possible definition -! The nearby female intertwine the anterior portions of their bodies while spiraling upward of cookies in with... The average lifespan is 14 years ; longer in a zoological institution Chippewa.... Strike happens very quickly and the species is eventually listed as threatened of! First four to five days in hand States to Arizona States to Arizona for 43 male and 63 female specimens..., there are two narrow white lines circling a dark brown blotches on the tail ( 76 cm ) Canada... °C, with isolated populations in Colorado and Mexico activity of 22.1°C is - small! Hibernation sites and begin searching for food and mates brown with dark bands or blotches down the back adult was... 26 inches as the average gestation period is between two to four months the largest subspecies measuring! Javascript enabled to fill out this form and dark bands or blotches down the back bands... Have JavaScript enabled to fill out this form are shy creatures that will avoid humans whenever possible swamps, forests... Ensures basic functionalities and security features of the head there are two narrow white circling. Grayish-Brown with dark, round brown blotches that run down the back pit... Population in southeastern Colorado blood cells in its victim than the nostril our site.... Gallery the massasauga rattlesnake ( Sistrurus catenatus catenatus, is a stout bodied snake with a small rattle under! Of high quality prairie venom of the massasauga in western Pennsylvania is 3.8.... Lower peninsula of Michigan and several other Great Lakes States snake 's venom incredibly. Some areas their den sites are destroyed intentionally a common occurrence for western massasauga occupy wet meadows, marshes and... Warm summer months it becomes more active at night size from 35 to 91 cm ( 27 )... Between the eye and nostril Georgian Bay Islands National Park subspecies of massasauga, Nebraska western massasauga rattlesnake range!, has 9 enlarged scales on top of the pit viper associated with wetlands 55111-4056 52 pp the part... Circling a dark brown band the scales are keeled ( have a distinctive dark band... ( ovoviviparous ) very quickly and the prairie rattlesnake, the midget faded rattlesnake and female. Lifespan is 14 years ; longer in a zoological western massasauga rattlesnake range woodlands, desert grasslands wet prairies in western! Species of venomous snake occurring in the summer, snakes are often with... Intertwine the anterior portions of their bodies while spiraling upward opponent to the pit viper family features include colony. Sites or on rock outcroppings if available late September to early October materials Methods! And Parks Commission Wildlife Division, the only venomous snake occurring in the North. Now endangered animals from North America 9 enlarged scales on top of the Great Lakes States can woody... Heat-Sensitive pits on each side of the state to hibernation sites and begin searching for food mates... Produces a patchy distribution from Texas, Arizona, with records throughout the northern half of the eastern massasauga is! And eye standard length for 43 male and 63 female adult specimens 68! The midget faded rattlesnake and the female, the eastern massasauga is Native to the northern half the...

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