NNTRC Snakes

Scientific Name

Crotalus atrox

Common Name 

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake


Physical Characteristics

Length, 30-84 in. (76-213 cm). Grey, brown, pink, or yellowish above, with light brown to blackish, light edged, diamond-shaped or hexagonal blotches on the back, and fainter smaller blotches on the sides. Often identified by the evenly spaced black and white tail rings.

Geographic Range (USA & Mexico)

Southeastern California to Arkansas, southward to northern Sinaloa and San Luis Potosi. Found from sea level to around 7000 ft. (2130 m).
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Arid and semiarid regions including desert, grassland, shrubland, woodland, and pine forest. Found on sandy flats, rocky cliffs, canyons, and river bottoms.


Mammals (mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits), lizards, and birds.


Hemorrhagins are the predominant toxins, resulting in extensive tissue damage, edema and hemorrhage.


Responsible for the greatest number of serious snakebite cases in the United States. Due to its size, aggressive nature, and the large amount of venom it can deliver in a bite, this snake is considered very dangerous.

This page was last updated on: February 12, 2016