Sistrurus catenatus, commonly known as the Massasauga rattlesnake, is a species of venomous pit viper found in the United States and Canada. It is a small to medium-sized snake, typically measuring between 20 and 30 inches in length. Its distinguishing features include a triangular head, a rattle at the end of its tail, and a series of dark, alternating blotches along its back. It is found in a variety of habitats, including prairies, wetlands, and woodlands. Its lifespan is typically between 10 and 15 years. The current population of Sistrurus catenatus is stable, though it is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation.
Name Origin: The scientific name of the organism, Sistrurus catenatus, is derived from the Latin words sistrurus, meaning "chain-tailed", and catenatus, meaning "chain-like". This is in reference to the rattlesnake's distinctive rattle, which is composed of a series of interlocking segments that resemble a chain.
Related Species: Sistrurus miliarius, Sistrurus ravus