From the southern coast of North Carolina south throughout Florida and west along the Gulf Coast to eastern Louisiana.
Inhabits a wide variety of environments, including dry forests, sandy coastal areas, grassy marshes and swamps, mixed woodlands, and wet prairies. It will often hide in abandoned gopher and tortoise burrows during extreme temperatures.
A very thick-bodied venomous snake with a distinct wide diamond pattern down the center of its back. Its tail ends in a rattle that ranges in color from tan to black. It has a large triangular head with wide jaws and a dark mask across its face. This dark mask is outlined with light diagonal lines on each side of the face. It has 2 heat-sensing pits on its snout, positioned between the eyes and mouth. The diamond pattern is tri-color; black with a brown center, outlined in white. They average 3-6 feet in length and 2-10 lbs in weight, but can grow to 8 feet in rare cases, and weigh as much as 15 lbs.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians