The species requires very specific microhabitat features within these habitats for mating, hunting and especially thermoregulation. This probably refers to the wet habitats preferred by the eastern and western subspecies. Its fangs are moveable enabling it to adjust back and forth automatically. When a female Massasauga rattlesnake is ready to mate, she has a special way of announcing it: she sheds her old skin, which releases a special chemical that attracts males. The eastern massasauga, a rare sight for most Michigan residents, has been declining due to fragmentation and loss of wetland habitat.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the global status of the massasauga as Least Concern.

Identifying, protecting, and restoring endangered and threatened species is the primary objective of the U.S. Baby Massasaugas have a "button" at the tip of the tail which is often yellow in colour. These special sensors enable the snakes to hone in on endothermic prey ("warm-blooded" animals that produce heat, like mice and small birds). Most incidents of bites involve people who are trying to kill or capture a rattlesnake. Massasauga is from the Ojibwa language and means "great river-mouth" which alludes to the marshy habitat of the snake. Review the Zoo’s reopening guidelines and make a reservation. Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

The scales are keeled (ridged down the centre), which gives the snake a rough appearance). Baby Massasauga Rattler, or Milk Snake? While she's pregnant, the female feeds very little (or not at all) and survives on fat reserves. Like all rattlesnakes, the Massasuaga is a pit viper and can see thermal images of its environment using two heat-sensitive pits between its eyes and nostrils. Yes, There Are Rattlesnakes In Georgian Bay Islands National Park!

Although heat sensors don't help Massasaugas find ectothermic prey, these snakes have another secret weapon: their tongue! The sound of aggressive rattling indicates strike. Required fields are marked *. Unfortunately, people frequently kill rattlesnakes on sight, out of fear. Its heat-sensitive pits, venom and camouflage make the Massasauga a very effective predator of small mammals, this species’ primary prey. Like all rattlesnakes, it is a pit viper, and like all pit vipers, it is venomous. Western Massasaugas are more pale; their background color is light gray or tan-gray, and contrasts sharply with the dark brown markings.

is permitted as long as proper attribution and a link to the original source are provided. With a length up to 80 cm, the Eastern Massasauga Snake is the largest of the subspecies.

This snake is a very docile one.

The species has also been designated as a Specially Protected Reptile under the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. Saint Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine, From southeastern Canada, across parts of the eastern and middle United States to Arizona, Prairies, meadows, marshes, swamps, floodplain forests, woodlands, desert grasslands. Though Massasauga rattlesnakes are not listed as endangered or threatened by IUCN, they are still in trouble in the wild (see Conservation Status). Massasaugas once had a wider range and were far more common in southern Ontario near the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Huron. And there's a slight difference in the facial structures (the Massasauga's heat pits) that would put this guy in the milk snake camp. And he's just a … Premium Drupal Theme by The Saint Louis Zoo is helping eastern Massasauga rattlesnakes through our Field Research for Conservation (FRC) program. They usually make use of abandoned rodent burrows or holes created by Black-tailed prairie dogs for giving birth to young.