How to recognize Ontario's only venomous snake . . .

The massasauga rattlesnake is not a very large snake - adults are usually 50 to 80 cm long (about as long as your arm).  The most distinguishing characteristic of this snake is the rattle at the end of its tail - you won't find any others in Ontario with one!  The massasauga is also the only snake in Ontario that has vertical pupils in its eyes (like a cat), but you have to be a little close to see them!


Four snake species in Ontario look similar to the massasauga rattlesnake.
Click on each snake to learn the how to tell the rattlesnake apart from the look-alikes!


Can you tell the rattlesnake
from the look-alike?

Ojibway Nature Centre.   © Brent Huffman, Toronto Zoo 2005