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Western massasauga rattlesnake

Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus


This rattlesnake has a row of dark brown blotches that run down the length of its back. It also has three small rows of lighter colored blotches along each side. This snake has keeled scales, a vertical pupil (not round), and an obvious heat-sensing pit between the eye and nostril.


Prairie / cattle pastures


This was THE MOST calm rattlesnake I have ever photographed. The first photo has not been cropped at all, and I was lying on the road in front of this snake, as close as my macro lens would allow. It was a super cool encounter, to say the least.

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Aaron_G 9 years ago

Thank you. It remains as one of my favorite road-cruising encounters of all time. :-)

Stanislav Greš
Stanislav Greš 9 years ago

the photo with head is beautiful :)

AshleyT 10 years ago

That is really cool you were able to get that face shot, it's an amazing photo! The only pictures I got of any of the 3 I've seen have been on my phone..but now I take my camera with me everywhere so I will be prepared next time!

Aaron_G 10 years ago

This particular snake was so laid back that I didn't even need to touch it until it was time to hook it off the road as I said goodbye. I can't say the same for the others that I've photographed. ;-)

AshleyT 10 years ago

These guys are pretty neat! I've seen three of them now, the first one I saw was also the same day I got a set of snake tongs. Glad I got to break them in with one not so commonly seen :)

Aaron_G 10 years ago

Thanks so much for the kind words. I would take you ALL road cruising with me if I could. :-)

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 10 years ago


DanielePralong 11 years ago

Awesome shots! Aaron, through Project Noah at least now we call all be with you to marvel at this beautiful creature!

Aaron_G 11 years ago

The part that makes me sad about this and many of my spottings is the fact that I was by myself and had no one there to share it with. I know A LOT of herpers who are dying to see this species in our state, and save for having my daughter with me one time, every massasauga I've seen was while I was alone. :-(

GeoffreyPalmer 11 years ago

Love the close-up shot!

ACAL 11 years ago

Awesome shot

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 11 years ago


Spotted by

Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA

Spotted on Jun 25, 2011
Submitted on Jan 13, 2012

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