Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Crotalus adamanteus

Summary 7

Crotalus adamanteus is a venomous pit viper found in the southeastern United States. It is the heaviest (though not longest) venomous snake in the Americas and the largest rattlesnake. It featured prominently in the American Revolution, specifically as the symbol of what many consider to be the first flag of the United States of America, the Gadsden flag. No subspecies is currently recognized.

Distribution 8

Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) The range encompasses the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States from North Carolina to south Florida, and west to Mississippi and the Florida parishes of Louisiana, at elevations extending from near sea level to around 500 meters (Mount 1975, Dundee and Rossman 1989, Palmer and Braswell 1995, Ernst and Ernst 2003, Campbell and Lamar 2004). The major stronghold today is the northern Florida peninsula, eastern and southern Florida panhandle, and southwestern Georgia (Timmerman and Martin 2003).

North Carolina: restricted to the Lower Coastal Plain south of the Neuse River; formerly occurred in the middle Coastal Plain but apparently never in the North Carolina Fall Line sandhills; not known on North Carolina barrier islands. South Carolina: patchily distributed in the lower and middle Coastal Plain; common in the coastal marsh-sea island area, occurring on Edisto and three smaller barrier islands. Georgia: restricted to the Coastal Plain, occurring on the Fall Line sandhills below Columbus (Fort Benning) and thriving on Georgia's sea islands. Florida: throughout the state, including many of the Florida Keys and most of Florida's east and west coast barrier islands. Alabama: does not range to the Fall Line but occurs in the lower Coastal Plain where longleaf pine and wiregrass dominated the uplands originally; has been recorded from Dauphin Island. Mississippi: occurs today principally in the counties of the southeastern portion of the state, east and northeast of the eastern tip of Louisiana; historically may have ranged to the limits of the longleaf pine forest, but today the range has contracted and is confined mainly to the longleaf pine hills and pine flats regions; there are no records from Mississippi barrier islands. Louisiana: nearly extirpated; was confined to the easternmost three of the seven Florida parishes, and never was reported from Louisiana barrier islands (Means, unpublished manuscript).

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Zack, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://www.flickr.com/photos/87418376@N00/141054848
  2. (c) 2011 Todd Pierson, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?seq_num=390241&one=T
  3. anonymous, no known copyright restrictions (public domain), https://phil.cdc.gov/PHIL_Images/8131/8131_lores.jpg
  4. US Gov., no known copyright restrictions (public domain), https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0e/Crotalus_adamanteus.jpg/460px-Crotalus_adamanteus.jpg
  5. anonymous, no known copyright restrictions (public domain), https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/66/Crotalus_adamanteus_cdc.jpg/460px-Crotalus_adamanteus_cdc.jpg
  6. TimVickers, no known copyright restrictions (public domain), https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/63/Crotalus_adamanteus_%283%29.jpg/460px-Crotalus_adamanteus_%283%29.jpg
  7. (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crotalus_adamanteus
  8. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28889081

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