ID#: 8136
This image depicts a western massasauga rattlesnake, Sistrurus cantenatus tergeminus, which is spottily distributed throughout the Great Plains grasslands, including the tallgrass prairie along the central Gulf Coast in Texas (Tennant, 1997). Within the hurricane strike zone, this snake’s range is limited to the Texas Gulf Coast from a small area near the city of Palacios, northwestward towards the Panhandle (Price, 1996). This is important for the residents of, or first-responders to these areas.

The ground color of the western massasauga is typically gray to tan, and the dorsum bears a series of round, to irregularly-shaped dark blotches. The sides of the head display a dark, white-edged mask that runs diagonally from the crown across both eyes, and ends posteriorly to the corners of the mouth (Connant, 1975; Tennant 1998). The ventral scales of this subspecies are mottled with gray pigment (Connant, 1975).

High Resolution: Click here for hi-resolution image (11.48 MB)
Content Provider(s): CDC/ Edward J. Wozniak D.V.M., Ph.D.; Michael Smith
Creation Date: 2005
Photo Credit: Michael Smith
CDC Organization
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Copyright Restrictions: None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions.