Sistrurus miliarius is a venomous pit viper species found in the southeastern United States. They are very rarely seen. Often called ground rattlesnake, pygmy rattlesnake, pygmy rattlers, leaf rattler, death rattler, or eastern pygmy rattlesnake these shy creatures generally stay hidden on the forest floor.
They are a small species with adults usually growing to 40-60 cm (16-24 in). They are often confused with juvenile Black Racers which are completely harmless. When young the patterning can appear quite similar. Note that the pygmy rattlesnake sports red spots between its brown spots and is a grayish color overall while the juvenile Black Racer is also grayish it does not have the orange spots.
All snakes are beneficial and should be left to pursue their purpose in life. Virtually every snake I encounter will retreat if allowed to. So please, give them some room.