Banded Rock Rattlesnake

The Banded Rock Rattlesnake, Crotalus lepidus klauberi, is a subspecies of venomous rock rattlesnake found in the southern United States, including Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, and into northern Mexico. They are often found in canyons, hilly slopes, or man-made road cuts. They typically do not travel far, and often spend their entire lives on one particular slope or ridge.

They are relatively small snakes, rarely growing beyond 24 inches in length. They are typically light gray in color, with darker gray banding. Distinguishing the various subspecies of Rock rattlesnake can prove quite frustrating and has been a point of contention for many years. Various sources have used scale counts, number of bands, stripes along the eye region, and the amount of mottling between bands as methods of distinguishing one subspecies from another. Unfortunately, in every case, research has shown that there are exceptions, and the methods have been unreliable.

Rock Rattlesnakes are nocturnal, secretive snakes. They spend most of their time hiding in rock crevices. Their diet consists primarily of lizards and rodents. They are a very shy species, often not even rattling if approached, instead relying on their camouflage to blend into the rocky habitat. These snakes mate in the summer months and the female gives birth to live young in the following spring. Clutches are usually of 2 to 8 young.