Appearance

Massasaugas are small snakes with thick bodies. The average length of an adult is about 2 feet.

Adult massasaugas are gray or light brown with large, light-edged chocolate brown spots on the back and smaller spots on the sides. Each massasauga has a unique pattern of spots that does not change throughout their life – like human fingerprints.The head is a triangular shape and the pupils are vertical.

It is rare to see an Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake in the wild. This species can be confused with other local species especially the fox snake. See the comparison of a fox snake with the massasauga.  To see images of other look-alike species and to help distinguish between them, consult photographs and descriptions of species native to the massasauga range.

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