Edgar came to the OCIC via the Central Florida Zoo, where he was born September 8, 2001.
Edgar, the resident Eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) at the Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation has died. He was 21 years old. Edgar came to the OCIC via the Central Florida Zoo, where he was born September 8, 2001. He grew to more than 7 feet in length and weighed more than 20 pounds. The OCIC said in a statement announcing his death May 18 that he was one of the largest diamondback rattlesnakes on record.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Edgar, our 21-year-old amelanistic (albino) eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Edgar worked well with keeper staff and constantly impressed OCIC visitors with his size. He became known as the easiest animal to manage in OCIC’s venomous snake collection, very rarely sounding his rattle,” the OCIC said.
“Over his long tenure as an animal ambassador, he helped tell the story of his species to countless guests on numerous occasions. With the care of our team, he lived to the upper end of the typical lifespan for his species in captivity, and our team provided the highest level of care to him until the end. He will be sorely missed by staff and guests alike.”
An amelanistic rattlesnake in the wild have more challenges than normal colored animals in that they tend to stick out more, and are more susceptible to predation. They are quite rare in the wild, but they are spotted. In November 2022 a juvenile Eastern diamondback rattlesnake was photographed in the wild at the Big Bend Wildlife Management Area in Taylor County, FL. And in 1975, Bill Love, former Herp Queries columnist for REPTILES magazine found a leucistic baby female diamondback that Love named Snowflake. She was white in coloration with blue eyes. Love kept her for 10 years.
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The Orianne Center For Indigo Conservation is the only captive breeding facility for the Eastern indigo snake. It releases all captive bred Eastern indigo snakes (Drymarchon couperi) into the wild in areas in which the species has been extirpated.
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Information
The Eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the biggest venomous snake in the Americas, with recorded lengths nearing eight feet and weights in excess of 35 pounds. The Eastern diamondback has massive fangs that can approach a full inch long and can pump as much as 450 mg of venom (less than 150 mg can kill a human) in a single bite. They are known to inhabit pine forests, mountains, and dry marsh and coastal areas of Florida as well as the lower southeastern United States.