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Canada's Species   Amphibians and reptiles


Sistrurus catenatus

Warning: Keep Away! This "small" pigmy rattlesnake, rarely reaching over 76 cm in length, packs a potent bite. While the massasauga rarely try it on humans, it is nevertheless foolish to disrespect such a dangerous species (it IS after all a pit viper). Its hemotoxic poison (meaning it destroys blood cells) is rarely fatal if clinical antivenin treatment is received in due time but is still extremely painful and can cause permanent damage. While the massasauga has been exterminated from much of the area around Lake Erie, you can still find it in some marshes in southern Ontario.

Map of Massasauga in Canada
Distribution of Massasauga in Canada

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