Wildlife North America . com
North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Western Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus)




Western Massasauga | Sistrurus catenatus-tergeminus photo
Western Massasauga

Photograph by LA Dawson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

WESTERN MASSASAUGA FACTS

Description
The Western Massasauga has tan-gray or light gray background color with dark brown blotches. The underside is light with some dark markings. The head has a dark broad stripe along each side. They have a high pitches rattle sound, giving them the nickname buzztail. They are mainly nocturnal, but are sometimes seen basking in the sun during the day. They are most often seen after rain storms.

Other Names
Ground Rattlesnake, Gulf coast Massasauga, Prairie Rattlesnake, Triple-spotted Rattlesnake

Size
35 cm to 91 cm. (average 45cm - 70cm)

Environment
grassland areas, edges of open woodland, rocky hillsides. They often shelter in animal burrows.

Food
eat mainly rodents, may also eat lizards and frogs.

Breeding
The Western Massasauga gives birth to live young (ovoviviparous).

Range
Found in the United States in south eastern Nebraska, north western Missouri, east and central Kansas, west and central Oklahoma, northern and central Texas

Notes
Massasauga venom is one of the most potent of all rattlesnake venoms. However it is has limited capability to deliver a large amount of venom in a single bite. They are not considered to be deadly, but the venom can cause swelling, necrosis, and severe pain. Seek immediate medical treatment if bitten.

Classification
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata (Serpentes)
Family:Viperidae
Genus:Sistrurus
Species:catenatus tergeminus
Common Name:Western Massasauga


Relatives in same Genus
  Desert Massasauga, Buzztail (S. catenatus edwardsii)
  Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake (S. miliarius barbouri)
  Carolina Pigmy Rattlesnake (S. miliarius miliarius)
  Western Pigmy Rattlesnake (S. miliarius streckeri)