The Pygmy Rattlesnake is a small species of rattlesnake found in the southeast US. It may be found in suitable habitat in a range that covers much of Mississippi, but is generally uncommonly observed. Habitat in the south is usually palmetto stands, sandhills, and piney forests. They are small, usually only about 2 feet in length fully grown (Powell et al., 2016). These snakes are brown, grayish, or reddish, with 1-3 rows of dark markings on the back. The center row of dark markings is often accompanied by reddish striping. The head may be compared to that of a cottonmouth in many individuals, with a dark eye bar and light markings on the chin. The western subspecies is the predominant one found in MS, but southern counties may experience morphological influences from the dusky pygmy rattlesnake, Sistrurus miliarius barbouri. This species is generally active at dusk or at night, and they feed on small mammals, lizards, and snakes (Behler & King, 1979).
- Small brown or grayish body with rows of dark markings and reddish middorsal line
- Dark “mask” across eye with white line below
Western Pygmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius streckeri)
Palmetto stands, sandhills, pine forests
Nocturnal hunters, occasionally seen active at dawn or dusk
Small mammals, lizards, and snakes, amphibians, and invertebrates