Friday, November 29, 2013

Pygmy Rattlesnake - Murray County

The Pygmy Rattlesnake(Sistrurus miliarius) appears to be mostly a coastal plain species in Georgia, but there are a few records throughout the northern regions of the state. I was excited to find this individual in Murray County on October 30, 2013. This is not only a new county record but the most northern record for this species in the state. Pygmy is an excellent name that describes the small size of this our smallest rattlesnake. This is especially true when compared to the Timber Rattlesnake(Crotalus horridus) which is our most common rattler in Georgia. The Timber often grows to lengths of four feet or more, while an adult Pygmy usually does not exceed two feet in length. Still, this is a feisty species that can often be ill-tempered. This individual was consistently striking at me while I was attempting to photograph it. Can you blame it? This sighting took place in the lower elevations which is where it would be expected. This is the Great Valley District located in the Ridge & Valley Province of Georgia. The habitat where this snake was found was typical dry upland woods. I'm guessing that there must be a loose population in the vicinity. This is an example of the Carolina subspecies (S. m. miliarius). A real treat to observe in the field and what some might would consider late in the year for this region.

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  1. I found it near a community called Ballground in southern Murray near Cagle Rd. I can send you coordinates if you'd like.