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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Mojave Rattlesnake

The Mojave Rattlesnake, Crotalus scutulatus, also known as the Mojave rattler, desert diamondback, and scutulated rattlesnake, is a venomous pit viper species commonly found in the southwestern United States and central Mexico. They are primarily found in high desert or low mountain slopes. They prefer scrub brush such as mesquite and creosote, but may also reside in lowland areas of sparse vegetation, among cacti, Joshua tree forests, or grassy plains.

The Mojave rattler grows to between two and four and a half feet in length. Their color varies from shades of brown to green depending on the surroundings. In some areas, they have been dubbed as “˜Mojave Greens’, due to their green hue. It also has a dark, diamond pattern down its back. The white bands on its tail tend to be wider and more extensive than the black. They also have enlarged scales on top of the head between the eyes.

This species is perhaps best known for its potent venom, which can be very dangerous. Their venom typically contains a hemotoxin. While some
Mojave rattlers exhibit hemotoxic venom, others possess a potent neurotoxin, generally known as “Mojave Toxin”, and then there still others that demonstrate both hemotoxic and neurotoxic venom. The bite of the Mojave rattlesnake is considered to be one of the most dangerous in the United States.

Mojave rattlers are most active from April to September, and hibernate alone or in small groups during the winter. Nocturnal hunters, they prey mostly on small rodents and lizards. Females bear live young, from two to eleven, in July or August.

Mojave Rattlesnake