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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Did You Know? Incredible Pygmy Rattlesnake Facts

Pygmy rattlesnake facts are very interesting

The pygmy rattlesnake range includes Missouri, Florida, southern North Carolina, and southern Kentucky, it is mainly found in the Southeastern USA, specifically Florida. Because of the facial pits located below and between the eye and nostril on both sides of the head, these snakes are known as pit vipers. The pit detects infrared radiation (heat) and acts as a pathfinder for warm-blooded prey or predators. The world's longest wild dusky pygmy rattlesnake, measuring 25.1 in or just over two feet, was discovered in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The pygmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius) is divided into three genus species. These venomous snakes can be recognized with the help of their different skin color and their geographical location. Carolina pygmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius) is mainly found in Northeastern Carolina and South Carolina. These reptiles can also be seen across eastern Mississippi, Georgia, as well as Central Alabama. Dusky pygmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius barbouri), can be seen from southern Alabama, Florida, and southeastern parts of Mississippi to Southern Carolina. Sistrurus miliarius streckeri, or western pygmy rattlesnake, is mainly found in Alabama,  Louisiana, and Mississippi. The pygmy rattlesnake venom is not deadly to humans.

Continue reading to learn more facts about the pygmy rattlesnake. If you enjoyed this article you will enjoy reading about coral snakes and corn snakes.
 

Pygmy Rattlesnake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a pygmy rattlesnake?

A pygmy rattlesnake is a type of snake.

What class of animal does a pygmy rattlesnake belong to?

A pygmy rattlesnake belongs to the class of reptilia.

How many pygmy rattlesnakes are there in the world?

While the exact number of pygmy rattlesnakes is unknown, but according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are at least more than 100,000 adult pygmy rattlesnakes around the world.

Where does a pygmy rattlesnake live?

These reptiles are native to Eastern North America, mainly in the United States. Their range stretches from the Florida Keys to Missouri, southern Kentucky, and southern North Carolina.

What is a pygmy rattlesnake's habitat?

The pygmy rattlesnake's habitat includes the wetlands, wet savannas, floodplains, forests, swamps, wet prairies, pastures, and more. Carolina pygmy rattlesnakes are found mostly in the woodland and forest areas. These snakes prefer temperate marshes and forests because these places are close to the water and they also get plenty of shelters around.

Who do pygmy rattlesnakes live with?

Pygmy rattlesnakes are solitary in nature. They spend most of their time in rotting logs or bushes. They can even be seen living in abandoned small mammal burrows. These snakes don't meddle with other species of animals or their own species as a matter of fact, except in the breeding season.

How long does a pygmy rattlesnake live?

The lifespan of pygmy rattlesnakes that live in the wild is not known due to a lack of research, but the ones that live in captivity can live for up to 16 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season for pygmy rattlesnake comes in early spring (March-April), with their young being born between July and September. Snakes that are ready for reproduction send out chemical signals to potential mates. The males can be seen competing with one another to get to one female, but once the female has been fertilized by a male, no other males try to approach her, which makes them monogamous.  The male then stays with the female and guards her by sometimes coiling himself around her. The male leaves the female before she's about to give birth and the young pygmy rattlesnake sticks with their mother for up to 10 days after birth.

What is their conservation status?

Pygmy rattlesnakes have officially been classified as a Least Concern species on the IUCN Red List. This species appears to be stable, but at times habitat loss poses a threat to their populations.

Pygmy Rattlesnake Fun Facts

What do pygmy rattlesnakes look like?

Western Pygmy rattlesnake babies shed their skin 7-10 days after birth.

The colors of a pygmy rattlesnake include tan, black, brown, grey, light pink, and light red. The color pattern depends on its location and surroundings. They have several dark spots or black blotches on either side of contrasting red and black mid-dorsal patches. Carolina pygmy rattlesnakes are adorned with a light pink or red pattern that helps them to camouflage themselves in the surrounding red clay soil. The pattern color is usually light red and pink. The pattern color of the western pygmy rattlesnake is light pink, light red, or grey. The black spots in the dorsal region are vertical in shape and are more elongated than those of the others. Dusky pygmy rattlesnakes are darker and don't always have the red spots that other subspecies have.

How cute are they?

A pygmy rattlesnake can be considered cute and pretty because of the different colors of its skin. They can be pink, red, brown, or black depending on the region they are found in.

How do they communicate?

Pygmy rattlesnakes are solitary creatures that only associate with other members of their genus during mating rituals. During the mating season, snakes discharge biological chemicals from their bodies to let others know that they are ready to reproduce. The pygmy rattlesnake uses physical contact to interact with other species. To ward off predators, these snakes use their rattles. They shake it, which brings out a sound that acts as an alarm for the predators.

How big is a pygmy rattlesnake?

Pygmy rattlesnakes are much smaller than other closely related rattlesnakes. The average length of an adult pygmy rattlesnake is  15-25 in. (38.1-63.5 cm), whereas some rattlesnakes have the ability to grow up to almost 98.4 in.

How fast can a pygmy rattlesnake move?

The exact speed at which the pygmy rattlesnake moves is not known, but some rattlesnakes of the same family have the ability to go about 6 in (15.2 cm) in 70 milliseconds.

How much does a pygmy rattlesnake weigh?

The weight of the snakes of the species is around 1.37 lb (623.69 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female of the species have no specific name, but the snake is also known as ground rattler.

What would you call a baby pygmy rattlesnake?

The pygmy rattlesnake baby is known as a neonate, snakelet or hatchling.

What do they eat?

Small reptiles and amphibians, such as lizards, small snakes, small frogs, and small mammals such as mice make up the majority of the diet of these snakes.

Are they aggressive?

These snakes are not aggressive until and unless they are cornered. When threatened, rattlesnakes coil, shake their rattle and strike. Otherwise, they are rather calm, and even when competing with one another during the mating season, they still do not show aggressiveness.

Would they make a good pet?

Snakes in general do not make for a good pet because of their defensive nature. The venomous pygmy rattlesnake is also a solitary, defensive creature who would strike if they feel threatened.

Did you know...

The pygmy rattlesnake is venomous but not fatal to dogs and the bite can be extremely painful. Pygmy rattlesnake bites on dogs are typically not fatal as long as supportive treatment is available. Pygmy rattlesnake bite symptoms include localized swelling at the bite site would be the most visible symptom. Your pet can become quiet or lethargic as a result of the bleeding from the fang wounds. The presence of a heavily swollen face in a pet indicates that it has been bitten by a pet viper.

Pygmy rattlesnake bite treatment needs to be done as soon as possible. First, keep some things in mind that the wound is not above the heart level or there is not much movement to the wound area. The wound should bleed and take the antivenin as soon as you can.

How do pygmy rattlesnakes hunt their prey?

These snakes are ambush predators that lie in wait for their prey before attacking. When attempting to catch prey, pygmy rattlesnakes also use caudal luring. This technique involves the venomous snake using its tail to imitate other creatures that their prey might eat, like earthworms or insects. The tails are more vividly colored of the juvenile pygmy rattlesnake. When they reach adulthood, caudal luring is no longer as successful as their prey becomes bigger. Pygmy rattlesnakes have heat-sensitive areas between their eyes and nostrils that enable them to sense the location of their prey in order to detect it. The venomous snake ambushes their prey and uses its hollow fangs to inject venom into it.

What does a pygmy rattlesnake's rattle sound like?

A pygmy rattlesnake can have one tiny rattle or sometimes more. The sound of the tiny rattle is similar to the buzzing sound of an insect because of the small and thin frame of the rattlesnakes.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including boas and copperhead snakes.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our pygmy rattlesnake coloring pages.

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