Sistrurus miliarius barbouri, 16 March 2016

Sistrurus miliarius barbouri, the Dusky pigmy rattlesnake;
Volusia county, Florida (16 March 2016).

The Dusky pigmy rattlesnake, Sistrurus miliarius barbouri, is a tiny and somewhat abundant species found throughout various stretches and pockets of peninsular Florida and the American southeast. As adults, this venomous species only ranges between one to two feet in length. It’s so small, in fact, that its rattle is barely audible. At most, the rattle sort of sounds like somebody’s flying a drone somewhere nearby. The Dusky isn’t actually encountered by humans as much as you might think, however. They spend much of their days bunkered down somewhere in hiding. At dawn and at dusk, you are most likely to see them slinking about. For the most part, this is a shy and reclusive species, and when encountered the Dusky will usually go on its way — trying to get away from anything it considers a threat. In no way is this species (or any snake in Florida) “aggressive.” I’m always delighted to find a Dusky bunkered down with some decent light!

Learn more about this species from the Pigmy Rattlesnake Research Group archive.

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