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Mojave Desert Sidewinder


California, Nevada, Utah and western Arizona into Mexico.


Arid sandy areas, desert sand dunes, rocky sandy hillsides; especially in the area of mesquite or creosote shrubs.


Body color is generally pale to harmonize with their habitat. Basal rattle segment is brown. Has supraorbital "horns" and ventrolateral scales to aid this snake burrowing in loose sand. Nocturnal.


These snakes spend the hot daytime hours hiding in mammal burrows, emerging at night to hunt rodents and small lizards.


Reproduction usually occurs in the early fall, 5 to 18 young are born, each 6 1/2 to 8 inches in length.

Interesting Facts:

Large individuals of this species are usually females. Sidewinders use sideways locomotion with the body moving in an S-shaped curve. This method allows them to produce static friction which keeps them from slipping across soft, sandy substrate.

Mojave Desert Sidewinder
Native Utah Animal
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Class: reptile
Genus: Crotalus
Species: cerastes cerastes
Length: 17-32 3/8 inches (seldom exceeds 30 inches)
Average Lifespan: 10
Wild Diet: Newborn Mojave desert sidewinders eat small lizards. Adults eat kangaroo rats, other desert rodents and lizards.
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building: Desert Zone

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