The Southeastern Pygmy is able to adapt to many

different environments as long as there is water nearby.

This makes them a mutualistic organism because of its

ability to exchange habitats and homes with different

organisms. Many times other small animals use crevasses

that were previously used by the Sistrurus miliarius. The

same is also true for the Southeastern Pygmy Rattlesnake; they have been known to use

previously dug holes not by other Pygmy Rattlesnakes, but instead dug by tortoises and other

small animals.



Although the Southeastern Pygmy Rattlesnake is one of the most abundant snakes in the

Southeastern United States, competition is not very difficult. These snakes generally do not have

a hard time finding food. If food happens to be scarce it is still not life threatening to the

Sistrurus miliarius because of their wide variety in nutrition (from small rodents to insects).



Although there are not many laws protecting the Southeastern Pygmy Rattlesnake from

hunters, there is not a great competition for small snakes with abnormally small rattles like the

Sistrurus miliarius.


Southeastern Pygmy Rattlesnakes are "Tertiary

Consumers" which means that they tend to eat

"Secondary Consumers" like mice whose main food

are insects. In difficult times the Sistrurus miliarius

has been known to eat "Primary Consumers" such as insects that feed on plants. But because the

Pygmy Rattlesnake is only a Tertiary Consumer, they have to worry about "Quaternary

Consumers" or the predators that hunt them. The main animals that hunt the Sistrurus

miliarius tend to be bigger birds like: Red Tailed Hawks, Bald Eagles, and Owls.



Even though the Southeastern Pygmy Rattlesnake has a venomous bite, it is usually not life

threatening. Therefore, this snake is not going

after humans anytime soon. It is much more

likely to prey on small critters such as Mice,

Rabbits and other rodents. Generally when a

human comes across this Rattlesnake the

Sistrurus miliarius will not even be noticed and

because the rattle can only be heard from less

than a few feet away it does not provide much of a warning for humans. But if found nearby the

snakes nest, the Sistrurus miliarius will remain perfectly coiled up and it will usually puff itself

up to appear as big as possible in hopes of making the human leave the nesting ground. If it does

not stay in its nest the Southeastern Pygmy Rattlesnake will usually run away. But in the rare

cases the Sistrurus miliarius has been known to attack humans. If the snake chooses to attack, it

usually strikes multiple times before scurrying off into the brush.



Although many species fear the Sistrurus miliarius many parasites find it to be

the perfect host for their reproduction cycle. Some of the most common of

these parasites are ticks, mites, and Trichomoniasis. Ticks and Mites are

known for burrowing into their hosts and gorging themselves full of blood.

Mites are one of the most common and most harmful parasites to snakes. Once mites have

successfully penetrated into the snake’s skin females can lay as many as 80 eggs. Mites feed on

the blood of their host; which can cause anemia. These can also transmit viruses and create other

serious bacterial infections.


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