Eastern Massasauga
Sistrurus c. catenatus

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Range and habitat:
The Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake lives in the swampy and grasslands of upper eastern and midwest United States (New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri). It is also found in Southern Ontario.

Natural diet:
This snake eats frogs, rodents and birds.

Size / weight range:
The Eastern Massasauga grows to be 20 to 30 inches, with a record length of about 40 inches

Interesting Facts:
A small pigmy rattlesnake, the Eastern Massasauga is venomous, but probably does not produce enough venom to kill an adult person. The rattle on the end of its tail may be used to sound a warning for potential antagonists.

At one time this animal had a wide range, but it is now limited to small disjunct areas associated with swamps and bogs. It was once found in the Toledo area, but has not been seen for over 30 years in Northwestern Ohio.The Eastern massasauga has been afforded legal protection in every state where it occurs. It is illegal to collect, harass, or kill these snakes. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is working to preserve the last few populations of this snake in Ohio.

There is also a Species Survival Plan (SSP) to help ensure a healthy and genetically diverse population for this rattlesnake. Zoos are part of a team that includes the federal and state governments to help save this species.

Location at The Toledo Zoo:
The Reptile House

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