Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake
Sistrurus miliarius barbouri
Biome: Southern Swamps
Biography: Like most pit vipers, a pygmy rattlesnake uses the "sit and wait" method of hunting. This snake has been observed in the same location for up to three weeks, patiently waiting for unsuspecting lizards, frogs, rodents, and insects. Also known as a ground rattler, the color and pattern of its scales blend in with the forest floor for excellent camouflage. When it does rattle, the sound is often mistaken for a buzzing insect and is difficult to hear. An adult pygmy rattlesnake is seldom more than 20 inches long. A female gives birth to live young in late summer or early fall.
Pygmy rattlesnakes are among the most common venomous snakes in the southeastern United States. They are found in a variety of habitats, but prefer areas near creeks, ponds, marshes, and swamps.