Crotalus lepidus — Rock Rattlesnake
Subspecies I've seen:
C. l. klauberi
Banded Rock Rattlesnake
Crotalus lepidus klauberi — Banded Rock Rattlesnake
I spotted this small rattlesnake while clambering around on a jumble of large boulders that we had reached by hiking up out of the Nature Conservancy's Ramsey Canyon Preserve, a world-famous birding spot. I had been hoping to see the much rarer Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake in this area, but was still quite happy to discover this more common species. I got within perhaps 30 feet to take this picture, but that's as close as it let me get. The noise I made taking a few photos from this distance were enough to disturb the snake into retreating to a crevice in the rocks.
At long last, I saw another Crotalus lepidus, this time from quite a bit closer. Roger Repp found this one and maneuvered it into a good spot for photos, whereupon it coiled up nicely on a branch.
Just half an hour later or so I had another close-up encounter with this attractively-marked species. This is a significantly larger individual, with a distinct greenish tinge.
A beautifully camouflaged little buzztail.
This gorgeous young rattlesnake was a fine consolation prize for me and Roger Repp (Herp King of Southern Arizona, where the turtles are strong, the snakes are handsome, and the lizards are all above average), on a day when we were specifically and unsuccessfully looking for Ridge-nosed Rattlesnakes instead.
- Behler, J. L., King, F. W. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians
- Brennan, T. C. and Holycross, A. T. 2006. A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles in Arizona
- Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2017. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, Eighth Edition
- Degenhardt, W. G., Painter, C. W., Price, A. H. 1996. Amphibians & Reptiles of New Mexico
- Smith, H. M., Brodie, E. D. Jr. 1982. Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification
- Stebbins, R. C. 2003. Peterson Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition