Rattlesnake Population By State

Mojave rattlesnake close-up of rattle
© Rusty Dodson/Shutterstock.com

Written by Heather Hall

Updated: October 6, 2023

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Key Points:
  • Rattlesnakes are venomous pit vipers native to the United States.
  • There are 20 species of rattlesnakes in the country, plus several subspecies.
  • Arizona has the most species of rattlesnake, with 14 different types.

Rattlesnakes are native to the United States, but how many species does each state boast? If you have ever wondered what the rattlesnake population is by the state, here is a comprehensive list.

The rattlesnake population in the U.S. is shown by state in the map above.

Say Hello to the Rattler

The warning rattle of this pit viper has made it one of the most famous snakes in the world. These snakes live in most states, and their venom can be highly toxic to humans. Fortunately, they are shy snakes, and human encounters are rare. Rattlesnakes are critical members of their ecosystems.

It is always smart to be on the lookout for snakes when you’re hiking, and it’s especially smart to heed a hissing, rattling snake. If you see one, don’t approach it or antagonize it. It will probably leave you alone if you do the same.

Where Do Rattlesnakes Live?

There are about 20 species of this snake native to the U.S., with about as many subspecies. Like most snakes, rattlers prefer warm, sunny weather and dense vegetation. They live in deserts, mountainous regions, forests, and prairies.

What Do Rattlesnakes Eat?

Rattlesnakes are carnivores that eat mice, voles, chipmunks, and other small mammals. Like all snakes, they are extremely important for controlling rodent populations.

What Is the Rattlesnake Population in the United States?

Surprisingly, there are no official numbers available for snake species. Although we know snake populations are declining in the United States and globally, we don’t actually know how many there are.

Scientists are working on ways of improving their ability to monitor snake populations, but reliable estimates are currently not available. In this list, we’ve compiled all the rattlesnake species that are native to each state.

Rattlesnake Species by State

Alabama: 3

Alabama is home to three rattler species:

Alaska: 0

Alaska has no rattlesnakes. In fact, it has no snake species at all.

Arizona: 14

With 14 species, Arizona has more types of rattlesnakes than any other state. They are:

Mojave Rattler

An adult Mojave rattlesnake in a defensive stance.

©Shoemcfly/iStock via Getty Images

Arkansas: 2

  • Western diamondback
  • Timber

California: 12

California’s native rattlers are the:

  • Western diamondback
  • Sidewinder
  • Mojave Desert
  • Colorado desert sidewinder
  • Southwestern speckled
  • Southern Pacific
  • Panamint
  • Northern Mojave
  • Mojave green
  • Great basin
  • Red diamond
  • Northern Pacific.

Colorado: 3

  • Western massasauga
  • Prairie
  • Midget-faced

Connecticut: 1

The state’s only rattler is the timber rattlesnake, which is also endangered in the state.

Delaware: 1

The timber rattlesnake is the only one in this state.

Florida: 3

Florida has many snakes, but only three of its species are rattlers:

  • Pygmy
  • Eastern diamondback
  • Timber.

Georgia: 3

  • Timber
  • Eastern diamondback
  • Pygmy

Hawaii: 0

Hawaii has no rattlesnakes.

Idaho: 2

  • Western, which is another name for the prairie rattlesnake
  • Pacific

Illinois: 2

  • Massasagua
  • Timber rattlesnake

Indiana: 2

  • Eastern massasauga
  • Timber

Iowa: 3

  • Timber
  • Prairie
  • Eastern massasauga

Kansas: 4

  • Western diamondback
  • Prairie
  • Timber
  • Pygmy

Kentucky: 2

The state has more than 30 snake species, but only two are rattlesnakes:

  • Pygmy
  • Timber.

Louisiana: 3

Of its three species, the canebrake is the most common rattler in Louisiana — and the most dangerous. It can grow up to 8 feet long and is extremely venomous.

  • Eastern diamond
  • Pygmy
  • Canebrake

Maine: 0

Maine once had timber rattlesnakes, but it no longer does.

Maryland: 1

With the copperhead, the timber rattlesnake is one of only two Maryland snakes whose venom is dangerous to humans. The state has other venomous snakes, but their venom is not strong enough to harm humans.

Massachusetts: 1

The timber is the only rattlesnake in the state. It is classed as critically endangered in Massachusetts.

Michigan: 1

The eastern massasauga is the state’s only venomous snake.

Minnesota: 1

  • Timber

Mississippi: 3

  • Pygmy
  • Eastern diamondback
  • Canebrake

Missouri: 3

  • Timber
  • Western pygmy
  • Eastern massasauga

Montana: 1

The western rattlesnake or prairie rattlesnake is the only venomous snake in Montana.

Nebraska: 3

  • Prairie
  • Timber
  • Western massasauga

Nevada: 5

  • Mojave Desert
  • Sidewinder
  • Western diamondback
  • Speckled southwestern
  • Great Basin

New Hampshire: 1

  • Timber

New Jersey: 1

  • Timber

New Mexico: 7

  • Western diamondback
  • Animas ridge-nosed rattlesnake
  • Mojave Desert
  • Banded rock rattlesnake
  • Mottled rock
  • Northern black-tailed
  • Prairie rattlesnake

New York: 2

  • Timber rattlesnake
  • Massasauga rattlesnake

North Carolina: 3

  • Eastern diamondback rattlesnake
  • Pygmy rattlesnake
  • Timber rattlesnake

North Dakota: 1

  • Prairie rattlesnake

Ohio: 2

  • Massasauga rattlesnake
  • Timber rattlesnake

Oklahoma: 3

  • Western massasauga rattlesnake
  • Western pygmy rattlesnake
  • Prairie rattlesnake

Oregon: 3

  • Western rattlesnake
  • Northern Pacific rattlesnake
  • Great Basin rattlesnake

Pennsylvania: 2

  • Eastern massasauga rattlesnake
  • Timber rattlesnake

Rhode Island: 0

There are no rattlesnakes in the state.

South Carolina: 2

  • Timber rattlesnake
  • Canebrake rattlesnake

South Dakota: 1

  • Prairie rattlesnake

Tennessee: 2

  • Timber rattlesnake
  • Pygmy rattlesnake

Texas: 9

With lots of land and many different ecosystems, it’s natural that Texas should have a good variety of rattlesnakes. Its nine are:

  • Western diamondback
  • Timber
  • Desert massasauga
  • Mojave Desert
  • Prairie
  • Western massasauga
  • Banded rock
  • Blacktail
  • Mottled rock

Utah: 6

Utah has 30 snake species, and six of them are rattlesnakes. Its species include the Hopi rattlesnake, which is a subspecies of the prairie rattlesnake.

  • Mojave Desert
  • Speckled southwestern
  • Midget-faced
  • Hopi rattlesnake
  • Great Basin
  • Mojave Desert sidewinder

Vermont: 1

The timber rattlesnake is the state’s only venomous snake and is critically endangered. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in the state’s Wildlife Action Plan.

Virginia: 1

With the cottonmouth and copperhead, the timber rattlesnake is one of three venomous snakes that are native to Virginia.

Washington: 1

The only rattlesnake in this state is the western rattlesnake.

West Virginia: 1

The timber rattlesnake is West Virginia’s official state reptile. It is listed as a species deserving special protection under state law.

Wisconsin: 2

  • Timber
  • Eastern massasauga

Wyoming: 2

Wyoming’s two rattler species are the state’s only venomous snakes:

  • Prairie
  • Midget-faced.

Summary of Rattlesnake Population By State

Here’s a table showing at a glance which states are inhabited by rattlesnakes and what types are present.

NumberStateNumber of Rattlesnake SpeciesType of Rattlesnakes
1Alabama3Pygmy,
Timber,
Eastern diamondback
2Alaska0
3Arizona14Desert massasauga,
Mojave desert,
Sidewinder,
Grand Canyon,
Arizona black,
Great Basin,
Tiger,
Banded rock,
Western diamondback,
Twin-spotted,
Southwestern speckled,
Arizona ridge-nosed,
Northern black-tailed,
Prairie
4Arkansas2Western diamondback,
Timber
5California12Western diamondback,
Sidewinder,
Mojave Desert,
Colorado desert sidewinder,
Southwestern speckled,
Southern pacific,
Panamint,
Northern Mojave,
Mojave green,
Great basin,
Red diamond,
Northern Pacific
6Colorado3Western massasauga,
Prairie,
Midget-faced
7Connecticut1Timber
8Delaware1Timber
9Florida3Pygmy,
Eastern diamondback,
Timber
10Georgia3Timber,
Eastern diamondback,
Pygmy
11Hawaii0
12Idaho2Western/Prairie,
Pacific
13Illinois2Massasagua,
Timber rattlesnake
14Indiana2Eastern massasauga,
Timber
15Iowa3Timber,
Prairie,
Eastern massasauga
16Kansas4Western diamondback,
Prairie,
Timber,
Pygmy
17Kentucky2Pygmy,
Timber
18Louisiana3Eastern diamondback,
Pygmy,
Canebrake/Timber
19Maine0
20Maryland1Timber
21Massachusetts1Timber
22Michigan1Eastern massasauga
23Minnesota1Timber
24Mississippi3Pygmy,
Eastern diamondback,
Canebrake/Timber
25Missouri3Pygmy,
Eastern diamondback
Canebrake/Timber
26Montana1Western/Prairie
27Nebraska3Prairie,
Timber,
Western massasauga
28Nevada5Mojave Desert,
Sidewinder,
Western diamondback,
Speckled southwestern,
Great Basin
29New Hampshire1Timber
30New Jersey1Timber
31New Mexico7Western diamondback,
Animas ridge-nosed,
Mojave Desert,
Banded rock,
Mottled rock,
Northern black-tailed,
Prairie
32New York2Timber rattlesnake,
Massasauga
33North Carolina3Eastern diamondback,
Pygmy,
Timber
34North Dakota1Prairie
35Ohio2Massasauga,
Timber
36Oklahoma3Western massasauga,
Western pygmy,
Prairie
37Oregon3Western,
Northern Pacific,
Great Basin
38Pennsylvania2Eastern massasauga,
Timber
39Rhode Island0
40South Carolina3Timber,
Eastern diamondback,
Pygymy
41South Dakota1Prairie
42Tennessee2Timber,
Pygmy
43Texas9Western diamondback,
Timber,
Desert massasauga,
Mojave Desert,
Prairie,
Western massasauga,
Banded rock,
Blacktail,
Mottled rock
44Utah6Mojave Desert,
Speckled southwestern,
Midget-faced,
Hopi rattlesnake,
Great Basin,
Mojave Desert sidewinder
45Vermont1Timber
46Virginia1Timber
47Washington1Western
48West Virginia1Timber
49Wisconsin2Timber,
Eastern massasauga
50Wyoming2Prairie,
Midget-faced

Bonus: What State Has the Most Snake Attacks?

copperhead vs rattlesnake

The venomous copperhead snake is among the snakes responsible for snake bites in North Carolina.

©Scott Delony/Shutterstock.com

There’s no denying that there are numerous rattlesnake species across the U.S. But some states could arguably be more dangerous to live in, based on the annual number of snake bites that occur. What state ranks the highest in snake bites? That would be North Carolina. This southeastern state’s bite rate is 157.8 bites per million population per year. How does that average out? Well, the population as of 2021 was a little over 10 million (10.55 to be exact). If we were to just figure it off of 10 million, that would mean that there are roughly 1,580 reported snake bites per year.

The top 6 states for reported snake bites are as follows:

  • North Carolina–157.8 bites per million
  • West Virginia–105.3 bites per million
  • Arkansas–92.9 bites per million 
  • Oklahoma–61 bites per million
  • Virginia–48.7 bites per million
  • Texas–44.2 bites per million

In North Carolina, there are 6 different kinds of venomous snakes: copperhead, cottonmouth, timber rattlesnake, pigmy rattlesnake, eastern diamondback rattlesnake, and eastern coral snake. In 2019, 92 people were bitten by venomous snakes in that state.

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About the Author

Heather Hall is a writer at A-Z Animals, where her primary focus is on plants and animals. Heather has been writing and editing since 2012 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, Heather enjoys hiking, gardening, and trail running through the mountains with her dogs.

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