The Eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) is heavy-bodied with a broad, triangular-shaped head. Rough scales on its back are patterned with diamond-shaped markings which serve as effective camouflage and the snake's first line of defense. Despite its venom this ambush predator is generally mild in temperament compared to other species. Its tail ends in a well-defined rattle that it shakes loudly when threatened. The rattlesnake serves an important role in the natural ecosystem by keeping small mammal populations healthy.
The Eastern diamondback is found in pine flatwoods and scrub communities. Visitors sometimes see them on the Snail Trail as well as along Shell Island Road. Please keep a safe distance and do not approach.
The video below shows Rookery Bay Reserve's stewardship coordinator, Jeff Carter, who has 25 years of experience handling venomous snakes for zoos around the world, relocating a rattlesnake from near the field station entrance. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS YOURSELF.