Common Name
HOPI (PRAIRIE) RATTLESNAKE

Scientific Name
CROTALUS VIRIDIS NUNTIUS

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Photo by Unknown Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The Hopi rattlesnake, Crotalus viridis nuntius, is a subspecies of the prairie rattlesnake that occurs in a relatively small area of northern Arizona, New Mexico, and southern Utah. This species is primarily found on the ground, but will occasionally climb into trees and shrubs. During periods of cold weather, Hopi rattlesnakes occupy mammal burrows, crevices, and caves, where they become inactive.

The Hopi rattlesnake is live-bearing; females give birth to approximately four to twelve young in the late summer or fall. The diet of this species consists of small mammals, birds, lizards, and occasionally amphibians. Prey are subdued by injecting venom through large hollow fangs at the front of the upper jaw. Hopi rattlesnakes are typically pink or reddish in color, with darker well-defined blotches on their backs. This subspecies rarely exceeds 24" in length.

Sources:

  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 336 pp.

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