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11/21/09

Pygmy Rattlesnake

The Pigmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius) is a small snake, usually up to 55 cm long. Although this type of snake is very small you shouldn’t let the size fool you. There is one specific characteristic of the Pigmy rattlesnake – these are 9 large scales their head and they use their very small rattle to create a buzzing noise. This noise is not very loud. There are three subspecies of the Pigmy rattlesnake:
• the Dusky pygmy rattlesnake
• the Carolina pygmy rattlesnake
• the Western pygmy rattlesnake
This snake is hard to see because of its size. It usually hides among burrows, leaf litter and similar hiding spots. However, the habitat of theses snakes are creeks and streams, sand hills, lakes and swamps, pinewoods and hardwoods etc. The Pigmy rattlesnake generally feeds with frogs, birds, lizards, insects and smaller mammals.
The Pigmy snake colour varies from red to orange, but it can have other colours too. In their appearance we have to notice a black stripe which goes from the eyes and continues to the mouth.
This snake is venomous and its venom is not life threatening although it attacks the red blood cells and tissue, but it causes a great pain. Until now there aren’t any records that the bit of this snake has been fatal to people. When this snake bites its prey it lets it go and later it follows the smell to track it and eat it.

Pygmy rattlesnakes belong to the list of protected species in some areas like North Carolina or Tennessee. However, in other areas they are not protected. It can be kept in captivity, but it is not recommended if you are a beginner. The Pigmy rattlesnake gives birth to around 6 young snakes at a time which are 1.5 to 1.7 mm long.

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