25-70 inches. Light tan or beige above with dark brown crossbands and a reddish stripe down the middle of the back; brown band from eye to angle of mouth; tail dark gray or black; scales keeled.
Canebrake rattlers inhabit wooded and forested areas, preferring hardwoods. They tend to lie motionless in a resting coil, usually near logs, tree bases, or in thickets. They feed on rodents, preferring wood rats and squirrels. Canebrake rattlers move from hibernation sites to summer foraging grounds in mid-spring, and return to winter quarters in late summer and early fall. They are most often observed during these periods of travel. They give birth to from 7-16 young.
Most of Louisiana except the coastal marshes. They occur on the salt dome islands around Cote Blanche Bay and adjacent high ground from Morgan City to Patterson, but there are no records west of the Atchafalaya Basin, in Acadiana, or the pinelands of southwestern Louisiana.