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Northern Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus)
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
Snakes Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
All upset and ready for business!

General Description: Often called a Mojave Green Rattlesnake, this is a large, dark greenish or olive-green rattlesnake with well-defined dark diamonds down the center of the back clearly offset with light borders. The tail has black and white bands, but the black bands are much narrower than the white bands.

This species can be confused with Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes. However, Mojave Rattlesnakes have narrow black bands on the tail and the upper white eyestripe extends beyond the corner of the mouth.

These snakes are venomous. Do not attempt to handle rattlesnakes; rather, enjoy your good luck of finding one from a distance (minimum 4 feet away) and leave them alone.

Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
Note enlarged scales on snout

Taxonomy: Pit Vipers Family (Viperidae)

Technical Description: A medium sized (4 ft) rattlesnake; body heavy. Head shape wide and triangular. Dorsal color dark greenish or olive-green with well-defined dark diamonds, ovals, or hexagons down the center of the back. Dorsal marks offset with light edges. Tail with narrow black and broad white rings (white rings twice as wide as black rings). White eye stripe extends from behind the eye to beyond the corner of the mouth. Enlarged scales on the snout and between the supraoculars.

Diet: Feeds on rodents, snakes, lizards, birds, and eggs.

Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
Note the white stripes on the side of the face.

Habitat: Mojave Desert Scrub (Upper Sonoran Life Zone) and lower mountain slopes. Not common in rocky areas or areas with dense vegetation. Probably widespread throughout southern Nevada in the appropriate habitat.

Range: The species occurs in southeastern California, southern Nevada (north to about the Nevada Test Site), and western Arizona east along the border to southwestern Texas and south into Mexico. This subspecies occurs in the U.S.

Breeding: Gives birth to 2-11 live young during mid-summer.

Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
Dark ovals on back outlined with white scales.

Similar Species: Other species of rattlesnake lack the greenish cast or have less-distinct markings, but definite identification may require careful examination of the scales on the top of the head and snout (not recommended). The Mojave Rattlesnake has large scales on the top of the head, while the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake has granular scales atop the head. In addition, in the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, the rear eye stripe extends from behind the eye to the upper lip ahead of the corner of the mouth.

Comments:

Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) Mojave Rattlesnake getting a little sun at the entrance to an old desert tortoise burrow. It is not uncommon for rattlesnakes to seek refuge in tortoise burrows.
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) Mojave Rattlesnake in the entrance to an old desert tortoise burrow; notice the dark, irregularly blotched outlined in white.
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
When crossing a road ...
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
... this species prone to stand its ground rather than move aside
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
Mojave Rattlesnakes have a bit of a coon-tail, that is, black and white bands on the tail similar to a raccoon.
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
Mojave Rattlesnake; notice the broad jaws that give the head a triangular appearance.
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 111219

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