Explore other vipers and compare them with the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake. Its seems unlikely that any snakes can survive our winters, but apparently they do. Venom is injected into the snake's victims through these teeth. It may be seen basking on grass, near crayfish burrows or in other open locations. This is Ontario’s only venomous snake. in length, although longer ones have been recorded. The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, Sistrurus catenatus, is the only venomous snake still found in Ontario. The general appearance of the eastern massasauga can vary, with some indi-viduals having brown blotches on a gray background and others being almost completely black in color. The subspecies is a candidate for federal listing. Young rattlesnakes measure approximately nine inches long and have a yellow-tipped tail with a “button” rather than a fully-developed functioning rattle. In reality most rattlesnakes present very little threat to humans. Although the massasauga rattlesnake is thought to be in decline throughout much of its range, only the eastern subspecies (Sistrurus c. catenatus) is currently under Unit 5: The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Teacher Resource GROUP WORK AND RESEARCH MOTIVATORS What can we do to preserve the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake and its natural habitat? It is characterized by the presence of a heat sensitive pit between the eye and the nostril, a segmented rattle at the tip of the tail, a vertical eye pupil and keeled scales. If disturbed it may shake its rattle. Fish and Wildlife Service protects the eastern massasauga rattlesnake under the Endangered Species Act. The Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is a medium sized snake (50 to 76 cm) with a thick body.The head is diamond shaped with white stripes along the jaw. Are … A pair of long fangs at the front of the mouth are hollow and resemble short, curved hypodermic needles. Massasaugas are found across eastern North America from New York and Ontario southwest to Texas and New Mexico. When shaken, the rattle produces a high-pitched buzzing noise that warns animals and people to move away. Johnson et al. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) is a species of venomous pit viper in the family Viperidae. Journal of Herpetology 40:66-73. Although the massasauga rattlesnake is thought to be in decline throughout much of its range, The Eastern Massasauga is a pygmy rattlesnake; most adults are only 60–75 cm long. Below the saddles there is another large spot of the same color and outline. NOTE: New data of the occurrence and distribution of this species are being collected constantly and some of the information in the pamphlet may be outdated. Massasauga rattlesnake. If threatened, the species is most likely to rattle or retreat under cover. Why is it important to save the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake? What is the range of the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake? From old western movies where 6-foot-long rattlers rear up to strike a cowboy on horseback to outrageous folktales of rattlesnakes chasing humans, a lot of bad press has been directed at rattlesnakes. Michigan, the only state in which it is not considered endangered, lists it as "special concern". The eastern massasauga has been declining over the past three decades due to loss and fragmentation of its wetland habitat. Each time the skin is shed a new segment is added to the rattle. The belly is black with scattered light markings. Cryptic patterns and coloration serve to break up the shape of the eastern massasauga rattlesnake to better disguise it in vegetation, rocks, leaves, and shadows. Occurrence maps on miherpatlas.org; Michigan DNR Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake 60-Second Snakes Video ; Life History & Michigan History. These populations … The eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) is a candidate for federal listing as a threatened or endangered Distinct Population Segment (DPS) (U.S. FWS 2003). The Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) and Western Massasauga (S. c. tergeminus) are found in the eastern and midwestern portions of the species range. Description: The Eastern Massasauga is a small rattlesnake with a ground color of gray, tan, or golden tan. 2011. www.dnr.state.wi.us. The only venomous snake in Ontario, the massasauga rattlesnake resides mainly in the Eastern Georgian Bay area and the Bruce Peninsula .2 The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) considers the snake to be threatened and it is protected under federal and provincial laws. 2011). The western subspecies has an average length of 26 inches (66 cm), while the desert subspecies typically reaches a length of 21 inches (53 cm). The eastern massasauga is listed as an endangered species in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri (also considered extirpated), New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Massasaugas once had a wider range and were far more common in southern Ontario near the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Huron. The eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus ... Because populations are declining throughout its range, many states have given the massasauga protective status. This snake is very shy and … The Massasauga inhabits just four areas in Ontario: eastern Georgian Bay area, the Bruce Peninsula, the Wainfleet bog, and the Ojibway Prairie Complex in Windsor. Geographic range. The U.S. Despite an extensive distribution, relatively few and substantially isolated populations of Massasauga are threatened by loss and degradation of habitat, road mortality, and deliberate extermination. It was afforded special concern status in Minnesota in 1984, and was reclassified as endangered in 1996 after targeted surveys in the early 1990s failed to locate the species. The snake is light gray with a color pattern that includes a series of large, dark brown and black, middorsal blotches and two to three rows of lateral blotches. Some people … Similarly, the average home range length of Massasaugas on the northern Bruce Peninsula has been documented to be 1.2 km, with a maximum home range length of 2.3 km (Harvey unpublished data 2012). Eastern Massasauga, Page 1 State Distribution Sistrurus catenatus catenatus Rafinesque Eastern Massasauga Photo by Joseph Sage Minnesota and eastern Iowa and south to southern Illinois, central Indiana, southern Ohio, and northwestern Pennsylvania (Conant and Collins 1991, Harding 1997). The eastern massasauga can remain undetected with the help of its pattern, even at close range. 2006. The Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) is the only venomous snake in Ontario. ... Massasauga Rattlesnake. The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake: A Handbook for Land Managers. Believe it or not, before 1975 there was a bounty (a fee paid to people who kill "pest" species) in Wisconsin on rattlesnakes, paying up to 5 dollars a tail. Michigan's only venomous snake is a rare sight for most state residents. Range. The scales are keeled (ridged down the centre), which gives the snake a rough appearance. U.S. The massasauga is one of the two venomous snakes in Wisconsin, the timber rattlesnake is the other. Small to medium rattlesnake that unlike most rattlesnakes, has 9 enlarged scales on top of the head. All subspecies have a triangular head, pits near their nostrils and a rattle on the tip of their tail. A series of spots and saddles are arranged down the back and sides. Because it is such a shy creature, it can be hard for biologists to find. If you do see one, count yourself lucky. The heat sensitive pits between the eyes and the nostrils are unique to pit vipers. Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is a State Endangered Species and a Federally Threatened Species. Despite its fearsome reputation, the massasauga rattlesnake is shy and docile, and avoids human contact whenever possible. Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake. In 1975 the bounty was lifted and the massasauga was placed on the Wisconsin Endangered and Threatened Species List. The eastern massasauga rattlesnake averages 20 to 30 inches in length. DESCRIPTION: The eastern massasauga (Sistrurus c. catenatus) is a small to medium sized rattlesnake, with adults typically reaching lengths of approxi-mately 18 to 30 inches. The eastern massasauga may take shelter in crayfish burrows or other underground cavities. You can also find them around Harrisburg, but not Pittsburgh. It rarely exceeds 75 cm (29 in.) 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