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western pygmy rattlesnake

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Any dark pigment on the belly is diffuse, the blotches there usually not being wider than one scale. A red or rust colored stripe often runs along the spine. This is one of the smallest species of rattlesnakes in North America. Most pygmys have a faint reddish-brown stripe running along the center of their back. Most specimens also have a rust-colored stripe down the back. The western pygmy rattlesnake should be respected and left alone.

Like other venomous snakes, they have “pits” on the sides of their heads, and the pupils are diamond-shaped in daylight (not round).
Western pygmy rattlesnake Sistrurus miliarius streckeri. In late spring and early summer, it basks in rocky open areas, near brushpiles, or along roadsides near woodlands and glades. It has a gray to pinkish body with dark blotches down its back and one to three rows of spots along each side. It takes shelter under rocks in spring, early summer, and autumn. The Western Pygmy Rattlesnake, often called the "Ground Rattler", is a heavy-bodied snake. I was hand-holding my camera to get these shots.
In addition to hollow fangs and heat-detecting facial pits, their tail rattles warn would-be predators not to attack them, saving the snake from having to bite and the enemy from being bitten. Others remain motionless and try to escape only when touched by a stick or snake hook. Although its bite is not fatal, a bite victim should seek immediate medical attention. The western pygmy rattlesnake is a small, colorful rattlesnake with a slender tail and tiny rattle. Similar species: Three other rattlesnakes are known from Missouri. Newborns are paler than the adults, have a yellow tail tip, and are about 4–7½ inches long. The rattle is very small, as compared with other rattlesnake species, and often isn't audible unless heard at close range. Food includes a variety of small lizards, small snakes, mice, and occasionally small frogs and insects. Most specimens also have a rust-colored stripe down the back. The average size of a mature Western Pygmy Rattlesnake is 1 - 2 feet in length. Our other two rattlesnakes are massasaugas; they are rare and only found in northern Missouri. Some will try to defend themselves vigorously by coiling, sounding their rattles, jerking their head, and striking at any movement. Courtship and breeding apparently occur in the spring, and young are born from late August through September, with 3–7 young per litter. The timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) occurs statewide; adults are 3 to 5 feet long and have large rattles. Common names: pygmy rattlesnake, eastern pygmy rattlesnake, ground rattlesnake, leaf rattler, death rattler, more. The subspecific name, streckeri, is in honor of American naturalist John Kern Strecker. [2], Sistrurus miliarius streckeri is found in the United States in Mississippi (except for southeast of the Pearl River Valley), west through Louisiana into eastern Texas, and north into southeastern and central Oklahoma, Arkansas, southern Missouri, and southwestern Tennessee. This small species is so secretive that few people encounter it.

Also known as a "ground rattler" in some parts of the state. Reptiles, including turtles, lizards, and snakes, are also vertebrates, and most are ectothermal, but unlike amphibians, reptiles have dry skin with scales, the ones with legs have claws, and they do not have to live part of their lives in water. The sound of the vibrating rattle is a faint buzz, like the sound of a grasshopper, and can be heard for only about a yard away. One subspecies, Western Pygmy Rattlesnake (S. m. streckeri), occurs along the western Highland Rim from Stewart County to the southern border.Description: A small, colorful rattlesnake (15.0 to 20.0 inches in length) with vertical pupil, thin tail, and tiny rattle. It has a gray to pinkish body with dark blotches down its back and one to three rows of spots along each side.

In one study, the average length of 55 males and 49 females was 52 cm (20 in). Habitat: Natural History: Best Time and Place to Observe: VENOMOUS Description: This is the smallest of the Oklahoma rattlesnakes, hence the name "pygmy." This is the smallest of the Oklahoma rattlesnakes, hence the name "pygmy." In our state, it appears that females typically only breed every other year. Like other rattlesnakes, western pygmy rattlesnakes have hollow fangs to inject venom into their prey, and heat-sensitive pits between the eyes and nostrils that allow them to detect and accurately strike warm-blooded prey (such as rodents) even in total darkness. But rattlesnakes are often preyed upon by hawks, kingsnakes, and other predators. I was on a photo walk (hike) when I spotted this snake. Subspecies There are 3 subspecies of pigmy rattlesnakes currently recognized. Rattlesnakes are considered the most evolutionarily advanced group of snakes.

[2], Its color pattern is distinct and very irregular, the middorsal series of blotches being plainly wider than they are long. The head has a distinct black stripe that angles from the eye to the corner of the mouth, and a sensory pit located between each nostril and eye.

Western pigmy rattlesnake - The United States in Mississippi and west through Louisiana and into eastern Texas, north into southeastern Oklahoma, Arkansas, southwestern Tennessee and southern Missouri. Call 1-800-392-1111 to report poaching and arson, Viperidae (vipers and pit vipers) in the order Squamata (lizards and snakes). https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sistrurus_miliarius_streckeri&oldid=947836084, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 March 2020, at 19:35. Common names: western pygmy rattlesnake, Strecker's pygmy rattlesnake, more. The western pygmy rattlesnake is a small, colorful rattlesnake with a slender tail and tiny rattle. Why doesn't the range map show this species in my county. [2], Common names for S. m. streckeri include ground rattlesnake, pygmy rattlesnake, southern pygmy rattlesnake, Strecker's pygmy rattlesnake, western ground rattlesnake, western pygmy rattlesnake. General color is light brownish gray, with a row of small, dark brown spots on the back and similar spots on each side. Extreme southern Missouri along the border with Arkansas, and in the eastern Missouri Ozarks and St. Francois Mountains. The disposition of this rattlesnake varies from individual to individual. In July and August it tends to be nocturnal and can be seen crossing roads at night. Along the sides there are only 1-2 series of spots, the upper ones being higher than they are wide. This snake has keeled scales, a vertical pupil (not round), and a heat-sensing pit between the eye and nostril. Most pygmys have a faint reddish-brown stripe running along the center of their back. The Pygmy Rattlesnake (also Pigmy) is the smallest, and one of the least known, venomous snakes in Tennessee. Missouri’s herptiles comprise 43 amphibians and 75 reptiles. Find local MDC conservation agents, consultants, education specialists, and regional offices. This species is normally active from mid-April to mid-October. Subspecies: Only the Western Pygmy Rattlesnake, Sistrurus miliarius streckeri, occurs within Louisiana. We facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. It also retreats into abandoned small mammal burrows, logs, and brushpiles. The body of the snake is tan, grey, or even reddish. How I Got The Photo – Western Pygmy Rattlesnake. We protect and manage the fish, forest, and wildlife of the state. Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The belly is usually gray or dusky cream-colored, with numerous irregularly spaced bars. [4], Adult specimens of S. m. streckeri are 40–63 cm (16–25 in) in total length (including tail). Description. The type locality listed is "... near Imboden, Lawrence County, Arkansas" (USA).[1]. They usually have moist skin, lack scales or claws, and are ectothermal (cold-blooded), so they do not produce their own body heat the way birds and mammals do. Amphibians, including salamanders, toads, and frogs, are vertebrate animals that spend at least part of their life cycle in water. This race also has the lowest number of ventral scales for the species (Gloyd, 1935).

General color is light brownish gray, with a row of small, dark brown spots on the back and similar spots on each side.

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