canebrake rattlesnake title.gif (11085 bytes)

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caneboth.jpg (61219 bytes) Normal (Caddo Parish) and albino  Photo: Mike Monlezun

canebrake1.jpg (77175 bytes)  Patterson, La.  Photo: Mike Monlezun

canebrake3.jpg (68033 bytes)   Monroe, La.  Photo: Mike Monlezun

canebrake4.jpg (74075 bytes)  Tunica Hills  Photo: Steve Shively

albinocanebrake2.jpg (57526 bytes)   albino from northwest La.  Photo: Mike Monlezun

canebrake5.jpg (85060 bytes)  Yearling from above pictured Monroe female.  Photo: Mike Monlezun

Common name: Canebrake Rattlesnake
Generic name: Crotalus horridus atricaudatus (Latreille)
Adult length: 36-60 inches;  record 74 in.
Complete range: (entire species)  sc N.H. south to north Florida, west to se. Minnisota and central Texas.
see RANGE MAP for range in Louisiana

The canebrake rattlesnake is a medium to large rattlesnake that ranges throughout the state but is common only in certain areas.  It averages 3-5 feet but 6 foot specimens are not uncommon.  The ground color varies from light to dark grey and the vertebral stripe varies in intensity from light to dark orange or rust brown.  Although canebrake rattlesnakes have a mild disposition and many will not rattle when caught, they have a very toxic venom and can inflict a serious bite.  The albino pictured here was wild caught in northwestern Louisiana in 1992 and is part of a breeding project.  It is a very beautiful animal of a creamy white background color with a light orange or peach colored pattern.

The snake pictured on the left is in the characteristic pose for this species.  In the fall, this is a familiar site to many deer hunters.  Although you can clearly see this snake in the photo, the camouflage works much better in the wild.  It is not uncommon to get to within a few feet of these snakes without even seeing them.  I have also approached to within a few feet of these snakes without them rattling.   This further adds to their ability to lay out in the open, yet remain hidden.

This is the wild caught albino canebrake rattlesnake at about 6-7 years of age.   She was caught as an approximately 2-3 year old.  She was sunning herself in a clearing and was noticed from quite a distance.

Photos of Crotalus horridus bite.  This series of photos from the first few minutes of a bite are very graphic.  They show the initial bite and continue through to the extensive swelling of the entire forearm and tissue damage.  Please let this serve as a WARNING of what COULD happen.  There is very little, if any, margin of error when handling venomous snakes.  Let this site serve as the ultimate in "scare tactics."

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State Checklist | Herping in LA | Links | Authors | State Maps