Canebrake Rattlesnake

Canebrake rattlesnakes are large, venomous snakes. They are pinkish to light tan with dark-brown to black blotches and chevrons, with a marked stripe down the back and a stripe from the eye to the jaw. This snake is far more rare than it was decades ago in its native habitat, and is almost never seen in the Houston area anymore. It is protected by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.


  • Scientific Name: Crotalus horridus atricaudatus
  • Range: Lowland forests in southeastern and east coast United States
  • Status in the Wild: Declining
  • Location in the Zoo: Reptile and Amphibian House.
  • Cool Animal Fact: The number of rattle segments are added at the rate of one segment each time the skin is shed. Because rattles do break off from time to time, counting the number of segments is not a reliable indicator of age.

Rattlesnakes: The World’s Most Polite Animal – See the post on the Houston Zoo Blog and find out more about Canebrake and other rattlesnakes.