herping title.gif (10025 bytes)

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

Canebrake Rattlesnakes Camouflage

Submitted by: Mike Monlezun
Photo credits: Unknown


canebrake rattlesnake Canebrakes can be very exciting to find in the wild.  Unlike rattlesnakes in the west, it is very common here to almost step on one before it will rattle.   While looking specifically for canebrakes in Patterson, Louisiana many years ago one fall, I came across canebrakes in poses identical to both of the ones pictured here.   In the case of the one in the open, like the one pictured to the left, I was walking slowly through the woods, taking a few steps at a time and then listening and looking about 5-15 feet ahead.  This was in a cleared area under the trees that was about 800-1000sq. ft.  I kept walking and looking ahead and I missed a very fat 5 ft.+ gravid canebrake coiled up in front of me just like in the picture.  I was about 2 feet from it before I even saw it. 
Needless to say, I was very surprised and the adrenaline was rushing.  This was my first canebrake.  This snake was so placid that it didn't even rattle while I hooked it and put it in a bucket.  Other adult canebrakes were found coiled up in the foliage such as this other one.  With snakes of this size just laying in the bushes like this, it's a wonder that more outdoorsmen don't get bitten.

Back to Herping in Louisiana

Please send comments and/or questions to kj@kingsnake.kingsnake.com

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