NORTHERN MOJAVE RATTLESNAKE
SPECIES NAMECrotalus scutulatus scutulatus
RISK TO HUMANSHighly venomous
The unique color variation of this species ranges from brown, tan, and yellow to pale green and olive green hues which earned them the nickname “Mojave greens”. Patterns consist of dark well-defined diamond or near diamond shaped blotches along the dorsal surface with similar smaller blotches along the sides. Black and white rings surround the tail to the rattle, with the black rings being narrower than the white rings. One light stripe extends from behind the eye diagonally to the upper lip beyond the end of the jaw and does not cross over the lip. Adult sizes range from 24-51 inches, more commonly measure 18-40 inches.
Range is limited to southeastern California from the Colorado River, west through the Mojave Desert to the Antelope valley. Typically inhabits xeric environments consisting of grasslands, desert scrub, rocky slopes, creosote bush flats, open juniper woodland, and light chaparral.
Specializes in small mammals such as ground squirrels, mice, rats, rabbits, and hares. Secondary prey occasionally include lizards, toads, and other snakes.
Typically unaggressive but can be very defensive in nature, and may strike and bite if provoked or startled. It may raise its head and upper body in a coiled manner mimicking the aggressive posture of the western diamond-backed rattlesnake. Primarily nocturnal and crepuscular during warmer months, but may be active throughout the day during cooler periods. Mating occurs in the spring with 2-17 live young born between July and September. Neonates measure approximately 10.5 inches at birth.