Timber Rattlesnake

STATUSLeast Concern


DIETToads, birds, rodents, and rabbits

RANGEWest Virginia, Southern New Jersey, Southern Carolina, and Texas

HABITATWetlands, inland cliffs, mountain peaks, and forests

Timber Rattlesnake

Physical Description

Timber rattlesnakes can reach lengths of 3-5 feet, and that does not include their rattle. Their coloring can range from yellow to tan or brown to gray. They have a triangular-shaped head and usually have a dark line running from each eye to the jaw.


Predators they may encounter include hawks, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, and other snakes.


They live an average of 10-20 years.


During breeding season from spring to late summer, males will compete for females by doing courtship dances. They are ovoviviparous, which means that the female produces eggs she carries and hatches internally and gives live birth. The female will give birth to 5-14 offspring in late summer or early fall. She will then shelter and protect her offspring for the first week or so after birth.

Fun Facts

  • A rattlesnake’s rattle is formed by adding a “button” to the rattle every time they shed. These rattles often break, however, so they are not a good indicator of age.
  • This venomous snake can strike as far as 1/3-1/2 of their body length.

Conservation Messaging

In our Reptile and Amphibian (RAD) center you will find many different reptiles and amphibians including venomous and poisonous species of snakes and frogs. Many of these animals fall victim to habitat loss in the wild. Many of the species here are found in South American habitats which are subjected to deforestation, damming of rivers, water pollution, and poor agricultural and management practices.

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