Created by Adrienne Wood
Common names are the timber rattlesnake, canebrake rattlesnake or banded rattlesnake.
Considerable geographic and ontogenetic variation occurs regarding the toxicity of the venom, which can be said for many rattlesnake species. Four venom patterns have been described for this species: Type A is largely neurotoxic, and is found in various parts of the southern range. One effect of the toxin can be generalized myokymia. Type B is hemorrhagic and proteolytic, and is found consistently in the north and in parts of the southeast. Type A + B is found in areas where the aforementioned types apparently intergrade in southwestern Arkansas and northern Louisiana. Type C venom has none of the above components and is relatively weak.
Generally, this species is found in deciduous forests in rugged terrain.
During the summer, gravid (pregnant) females seem to prefer open, rocky ledges where the temperatures are higher, while males and nongravid females tend to spend more time in cooler, denser woodland with more closed forest canopy. Females often bask in the sun before giving birth, in open rocky areas known as "basking knolls".
During the winter, canebrake rattlesnakes brumate in dens, in limestone crevices, often together with copperheads and black rat snakes.