This is a venomous Eastern diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus adamanteus
. Large, gray to olive-colored, it ranges across the southeastern United States, from the coastal lowlands of southeastern North Carolina, southward to the level of the Florida Keys, westward along the Gulf Coast to extreme southeastern Louisiana, placing it in hurricane-prone areas, which is of importance to those living in these regions, and first-responders offering aid to those affected by such a disaster. The dorsal pattern consists of a series prominent white to yellow-edged chocolate to black-colored diamond-shaped markings with light centers that fade somewhat, and fuse into crossbands on the caudal aspect of the body. The tail of this species is often slightly darker than the ground color, and is ringed with black (Tennant 1997). The head bears a conspicuous dark mask, bordered by prominent white lines, that runs diagonally across the cheeks.