NNTRC Snakes

Scientific Name

Crotalus atrox

Common Name 

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

Snake

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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Habitat:

Arid and semiarid regions including desert, grassland, shrubland, woodland, and pine forest. Found on sandy flats, rocky cliffs, canyons, and river bottoms.

Diet:

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

Venom:

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

Remarks:

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