Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake

Scientific Name
Sistrurus miliarius ssp. barbouri
Also Known As
Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake
All of Florida
Small Rodents, Birds, Lizards, Amphibians
Life Expectancy
10 Years

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This Snake is Venomous

The Eastern Coral Snake in Central Florida

The dusky pygmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius ssp. barbouri) is a small venomous pitviper species found throughout central Florida. Often confused with the larger eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus), the dusky pygmy can be identified by its distinct physical features, habits, and habitat.

This comprehensive guide provides key identification characteristics, biology facts, potential health risks, and prevention tips regarding dusky pygmy rattlesnakes in central Florida.

Appearance and Identification

The dusky pygmy rattlesnake can be distinguished from other rattlesnake species by the following physical features

Adult Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake

Photo 159343427 © Michael Ingram, CC BY-NC

Adult Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnakes

  • Size: Adults reach 12 to 18 inches (30 to 46 cm) in total length.
  • Color: Tan, gray, light brown or rusty ground color with 15 to 35 darker dorsal blotches.
  • Head: Distinctive dark cheek patches on either side of head.
  • Tail: Possesses fully developed rattle comprised of loosely attached segments.
Juvenile Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake

Photo 174754785 © Tommy Hamrick, CC BY-NC

Juvenile Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnakes

  • Size: Newborns measure 6 to 9 inches (15 to 23 cm) long.