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Free Picture: Venomous Pygmy Rattlesnake

Free Picture of Venomous Pygmy Rattlesnake

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This 2005 picture depicted a “western pygmy” rattlesnake, Sistrurus miliaris streckeri, which ranges throughout most of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana, and into eastern Texas and Oklahoma, placing it in hurricane-prone areas, which is of importance to those living in these regions, and first-responders offering aid to those affected by such a disaster. It is the most widely distributed pygmy rattlesnake subspecie (Connant, 1975). The ground color of this subspecie is typically light pink to tan. Unlike the other two subspecies, the dorsal botches of the western pygmy are laterally extended into an irregular pattern of transverse bar-like spots. Although it is a wide ranging animal, the western pygmy rattlesnake is spottily distributed over its range, and is a rather uncommon snake in many areas, most notably in the State of Texas (Price, 1996).

Pygmy rattlesnakes are agile and quick moving, and when disturbed, they typically flatten their bodies and snap sharply sideways without coiling, thereby, raising their forebody like some of the larger rattlesnake species (Tennant, 1998). Because of this and their small size, the strike range of the pygmy rattlesnakes seldom exceeds a few inches. The temperament of this species is reported to vary considerably between individuals, and under different conditions (Klauber 1997). The venom is characterized as moderately potent, and is available only in small quantities. Never the less, pygmy rattlesnake bites are a serious matter, and worthy of prompt medical attention.

This image was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Edward J. Wozniak D.V.M., Ph.D.

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