Missouri’s largest venomous snake is dangerously venomous, but there are few cases of rattlesnake bites in our state. It frequents rough country, is mostly nocturnal in summer and few Missourians ever encounter it.
One of the smallest rattlesnakes on the continent, this species has a thin tail and a tiny rattle. The sound of the vibrating rattle is a faint buzz that is like the sound of a grasshopper. It's found in some Missouri counties bordering with Arkansas and in the eastern Missouri Ozarks.
This shy, reclusive, nonaggressive rattlesnake used to live in floodplain wetlands of the Mississippi, Missouri and Grand rivers, but as those wetlands have been drained and destroyed, the massasauga has disappeared with them. Now it is an endangered species.
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