Florida's Snakes thumbnail photo of snake identification guide cover

Timber Rattlesnake
(Crotalus horridus)


Venomous snakebites are rare and can usually be avoided; however, knowing how to respond correctly to venomous snakebites is also important. Learn more...

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Timber Rattlesnake

photo of timber rattlesnake with distinct rust-colored stripe down spine between bands

close up photo of timber rattlesnake head showing eyestripe

 Photos by Dr. Steve A. Johnson (UF). These photos may not be used without the express written permission of the photographer


Usually 3.5–4.5 ft. (max ~6 ft.)


Thick body is pinkish-tan, yellowish-gray, or brown (occasionally black); tail is black and tipped with a large rattle. Back is marked with a rusty red stripe down the spine between brownish black “V”-shaped crossbands. Obvious red-brown bands run from each eye to the corners of the jaw. Scales have obvious lengthwise ridges (keels). This snake gives birth to live young (does not lay eggs).


Found only in northern Florida in the Suwannee River Basin and extreme northeastern panhandle, in bottomland hardwood forests, cane thickets, pine flatwoods, and the edges of swamps and wet prairies.


Frogs, lizards, birds, mice, rats, rabbits, gophers

map showing timber rattlesnakes are only found in northern Florida

Map by Monica E. McGarrity - may be used freely for education.

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