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 Blacktail Rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus molossus)

Blacktail Rattlesnake | Crotalus molossus-molossus photo
Black-tailed Rattle Snake
Photograph by Gary M. Stolz, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. License: Public Domain.  (view image details)

Blacktail Rattlesnake | Crotalus molossus-molossus photo
Black-tailed Rattle Snake
Photograph by LA Dawson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

The Blacktail Rattlesnake is variable in color and can be olive green, yellow, brown or black. The tail is always black irrespective of body color. They often have a black band across the eyes and down to the corners of their mouth forming a mask. It has a rattle made of keratin on the end of the tail. A new segment is added to the rattle each time it sheds its skin. The Northern Blacktail Rattlesnake is diurnal in spring and fall, and nocturnal in summer to avoid the heat of the day. In winter they hibernate. They can move in a straight line or by "sidewinding" depending on the surface they are crossing.

Other Names
Black-tailed Rattlesnake, Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake, Dog-faced Rattlesnake, Mountain diamondback

average length 75cm - 105cm

grasslands, desert areas, rocky and mountainous areas, higher altitude forest

rodents, other small mammals, birds, small reptiles.

The female gives birth to live young in summer. Litter size is usually about 4 - 6, but can be as large as 12 young. The young leave the mother after a day or two. Lifespan is about 15 - 20 years.

found in Arizona, New Mexico, southwest Texas. Also found in Mexico as far south as Oaxaca

The venom is mildly toxic by rattlesnake standards, but can still cause sickness, and is potentially deadly to young children or the elderly. Bite symptoms include swelling and skin discoloration of the bitten area.

Order:Squamata (Serpentes)
Species:molossus molossus
Common Name:Blacktail 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)
  Southern Pacific Rattlesnake (C. oreganus helleri)
  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)

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