Pair of Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes
adamanteus - Eastern diamondback rattlesnake
The name in Latin means "diamond or lozenge-shaped"
but in the Greek language adamant which
means "unconquerable" and -eus stands
for "one who is".
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake
Florida diamondback rattlesnake, Water rattlesnake
Crotalus adamanteus is
found in the different states along the southeastern coast of the United States
in Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and even on a few islands in the
Gulf of Mexico but Florida has the largest concentration.
Because of their large distribution they can be found in a
variety of habitats like dry pine forests, sandhills, woodlands even swamp
forests. Overall they do favor the more drier upland habitats. It is also quite
common for a C.
adamanteus to use burrows of the gopher tortoise
polyphemus) to escape the hot
summer days or overwintering during the winter months.
C. adamanteus is the largest of all rattlesnakes, average size range between 150 - 200 cm but it is known that some individuals can
grow over the 240 cm mark. Large animals have the tendency to weight more
whereby 12 kg or more can be reached.
This large heavy-bodied snake has a row of large dark diamond
shapes with brown centers and creamy colored borders. The ground colour tends
to be brownish, brown yellow, olive or brown grey but towards the tail the colors
fade and the diamondshapes fade or break into bands. On the head a dark stripe
edged in white or yellow runs back from the mouth to the eyes.
Seen there large range and so different populations there is
a lot of variety in the colors, like animals from the northern range (the Carolina's)
tend to be vividly colored with more contrasting patterns and a higher
concentration yellow. Other atypical colors/patterns in C.
adamanteus are albino, amelanistic, no yellow
pigments, broken diamonds or "striped" individuals.
C. adamanteus is an ambush predator and wait till its prey comes
in striking range. Although their large and some what bulky appearance this
snake can strike up to two-thirds of its body length. Its diet normally excists
on feeding on rabbits, rodents and sometimes even birds.
Its is said that this snake causes the greatest number of
snakebite deaths in the USA. The venom of C. adamanteus has a
high hemorrhagic activity (bleeding activity) and contains a peptide (short
molecule) that can block or interfere with neuromuscular transmission possibly
resulting in death by cardiac muscle ischemia or myocardial failure (both heart
conditions). The venom is very necrotic, causing serious disfigurement by
bitten victims. Initial effects on humans may include bruising, swelling,
chills, blood blisters, change in taste, numbness, pain but also muscle
fasciculations, paralysis and respiratory failure. The aftermath of a bite can
have effects like abnormal coagulation, numbness and tingling that may persist
Edited by Ray F
5.5 foot Eastern Diamondback that bit me (see below photo)
This was me in a 5 day coma after the above rattlesnake bite. My total hospital stay was 5 weeks, and the total bill was $630,000.
This is a clip from Animal Planet's "I Was Bitten" episode #5 covering my bite. (CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO)