We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Different Types of Rattlesnakes?

By Lumara Lee
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Rattlesnakes are venomous pit vipers indigenous to North, South, and Central America. All rattlesnakes possess large, triangular heads, jointed rattles on the end of their tails, and pits on their faces that can sense the heat of prey. When threatened, rattlesnakes shake their tails, producing a rattling sound to warn intruders. There are many varieties of rattlesnake, including timber rattlers, diamondbacks, sidewinders, and pygmy rattlers.

The timber rattlesnake, or crotalus horridis, displays a variety of coloration that includes black, brown, yellow, and gray. All timber rattlesnakes are characterized by dark bands on their backs that are often shaped like chevrons. This banding may be subtle on black specimens. Mature timber rattlers attain a length of 50 to 60 inches (127 to 152 centimeters). Also known as canebrakes, these rattlesnakes have a wide range in the United States (U.S.), inhabiting the midwestern, central, and eastern states.

There are several varieties of diamondback rattlesnakes, which are named for the diamond-shaped pattern on their backs. Western diamondbacks, or crotalus atrox, are found in Mexico and the southwestern U.S. These snakes are commonly called Texas diamondbacks. Adults have thick bodies and can reach a length of 60 inches (152 centimeters). The western diamondback is responsible for the highest number of venomous snake bites in the country.

Crotalus adamanteus, or the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, inhabits the southeastern United States. It is the largest species of rattlesnake known, and has a broad body that can weigh as much as 10 pounds (4.54 kg) at maturity. The largest specimen ever found was 96 inches (244 centimeters) long, but the average adult is usually 33 to 72 inches (84 to 183 centimeters) in length.

Sidewinders, or crotalus cerastes, are characterized by their unusual method of locomotion. Unlike other rattlesnakes, the sidewinder possesses elevated scales above the eyes that resemble horns. This has earned it the nickname horned rattler. It is small compared to some other rattlesnakes, and the adults reach a length of 15 to 30 inches (38 to 76 centimeters). Sidewinders inhabit the southwestern U.S. and are pale in color, displaying light shades of yellow, tan, cream, and pink.

The sistrurus miliarius, or pygmy rattlesnake, is even smaller, and adults reach a length of 14 to 22 inches (38 to 56 centimeters). Although the pygmy rattler reacts like any other rattlesnake by shaking its tail to buzz a warning when threatened, its rattles are so small that they usually cannot be heard. Pygmy rattlers are found in Georgia and the Carolinas. They can exhibit patterns in gray, red, orange, lavender, and tan.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.