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 Southern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri)




Southern Pacific Rattlesnake | Crotalus oreganus-helleri photo
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake

Photograph by Chris Brown. License: Public Domain.  (view image details)

Southern Pacific Rattlesnake | Crotalus oreganus-helleri photo
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake

Photograph by Matthew Robinson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Southern Pacific Rattlesnake | Crotalus oreganus-helleri photo
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake Juvenile

Photograph by Matthew Robinson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

SOUTHERN PACIFIC RATTLESNAKE FACTS

Description
The Southern Pacific Rattlesnake has grey, olive, or brown background color with light-edged, darker diamonds on the back. The sides have angular light-edged blotches. There is a light stripe from corner of mouth to eye. The tail has dark tail rings. The belly is light yellow or cream with faint blotching. Populations from high elevations populations can be very dark or black with little or no pattern. Juveniles are similar to adults, but with bright yellow-green tail. The male has a stouter tail than the female. It is similar to Crotalus ruber which has a conspicuous black and white banded tail and usually tan or reddish back color.

Size
55-102 cm

Environment
Found in a range of habitats including coastal sand dunes, desert scrub, grassy plains, rocky hillsides, open woodlands, farmland.

Food
Eats birds, lizards, snakes, frogs, insects, and small mammals

Breeding
Live-bearing with young born August to October.

Range
southern California, and Mexico in northern Baja California

Notes
The Southern Pacific Rattlesnake is a nervous species that will aggressively defend itself when disturbed. The venom of this snake is potentially dangerous to humans.

Classification
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata (Serpentes)
Family:Viperidae
Genus:Crotalus
Species:oreganus helleri
Common Name:Southern Pacific Rattlesnake


Relatives in same Genus
  Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (C. adamanteus)
  Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (C. atrox)
  Sidewinder (C. cerastes)
  Baja California Rattlesnake (C. enyo)
  Timber Rattlesnake (C. horridus)
  Banded Rock Rattlesnake (C. lepidus klauberi)
  Rock Rattlesnake (C. lepidus lepidus)
  Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake (C. mitchellii pyrrhus)
  Blacktail Rattlesnake (C. molossus molossus)
  Great Basin Rattlesnake (C. oreganus lutosus)
  Northern Pacific Rattlenake (C. oreganus oreganus)
  Twin-spotted Rattlesnake (C. pricei)
  Red Diamond Rattlesnake (C. ruber)
  Mojave Rattlesnake (C. scutulatus)
  Tiger Rattlesnake (C. tigris)
  Hopi Rattlesnake (C. viridis nuntius)
  Arizona Ridgenose Rattlesnake (C. willardi willardi)