NNTRC Snakes

Scientific Name

Crotalus vidiris vidiris

Common Name 

Prairie Rattlesnake


Physical Characteristics

Length, (40-160 cm). The ground color is highly variable and can range from light to dark brown and from olive to grey. The ventral area is usually cream color. The dorsal pattern consists of a series of well defined dark brown blotches that are usually lighter in the center. The tail is marked with narrow dark rings usually the same color as the dorsal blotches.

Geographic Range (USA)

Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan Canada southward through eastern Idaho, Montana, eastern North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, southeastern New Mexico, Oklahoma, and western Texas to northern Coahuila and northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico.
Map button button

Can be found in a variety of habitats across its range from grassland and desert scrub to montaine areas and can be found to elevation up to 2700 m.


small mammals (mice, ground squirrels, rabbits), birds, and amphibians.


Hemorrhagic toxins resulting in tissue damage and edema


Prairie Rattlesnakes normally attempt to escape when encountered. However, they are excitable and can be aggressive and quick to strike when cornered.

This page was last updated on: February 12, 2016