Canebrake Rattlesnake


Actual Size: About 3′ – 5′ long.

Characteristics: Large snake with rattle on the end of the tail. Usually gray and with solid black tails. Black chevron patterns on the back and sides with the point of the (V) pointing forward.

Habitat: Favorite environments include forests, preferably with sunny rocks available. They will often hibernate in dens with other types of snakes.


  • Also known as timber rattlesnakes.
  • They are relatively mild-mannered and have a long “warning” period before they strike – but they can be very dangerous.
  • Large size, long fangs, and high venom yield when they bite.

Canebrake Rattlesnakes in Louisiana

Canebrake rattlesnakes are typically gray but may have a slight pink hue to their skin. They possess the telltale rattlers at the end of their tail, which range in color from brown to black or even yellow. On average, canebrake rattlesnakes grow to four feet long, but some specimens can reach up to 6 feet long. These snakes are most active during the spring and summer, both during the day and night. When temperatures begin to drop in the fall, these snakes make preparations for hibernation.

Canebrake Rattlesnakes Habitat

Canebrake rattlesnakes are adaptable in their environment. You can find them anywhere from swamps to floodplains to pine forests to rural habitats, and more. The ideal habitat would be shaded with nearby access to sunny, rocky knolls. They often spend the winter hibernating in dens with copperheads or black rat snakes. Their diet mostly consists of small mammals, such as rabbits, rats, mice, birds, and squirrels.

Canebrake Rattlesnakes Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Canebrake rattlesnakes typically have a calm disposition, but they can be extremely dangerous if threatened or startled. Canebrakes spend the majority of their time coiled in ambush positions ready to capture prey. As with all rattlesnakes, they will shake their rattle as a warning before striking. If bitten by a canebrake rattlesnake, get away from the snake as quickly as possible, as they can strike again. Seek medical attention immediately. If you are having an issue with canebrake rattlesnakes on your property, it is best to consult a professional wildlife control company for removal.