Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake


Southeastern California to Texas and Oklahoma.


Flat desert to wooded, rocky hills from sea level to 7000 feet.


Has sharply contrasting black and ash-colored bands on the tail with large, dark diamond-shaped bloches, each bordered with cream or yellow. Markings are often indefinite and peppered with small dark spots, giving an overall speckled or dusty appearance. Rattlesnakes in general are heavy-bodied, with slender neck and broad triangular head. The rattle is a series of loosely interlocking horny segments at the end of the tail, and is found in no other snake. Rattle segments do not indicate age of the rattlesnake.

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

Frequents a variety of habitats in arid and semiarid regions. Is active during the day and night. One of the most dangerous North American snakes, often holding ground and boldly defending itself when disturbed. When alarmed they may make a sound resembling a sudden burst of steam, but when only slightly disturbed may merely click the rattle. The warning ‘rattle’ of the diamondback should be taken seriously, as venom from a diamondback can kill a man.


After a gestation period of four months, a female give birth to between 4 and 25 young. Instead of laying their eggs, they retain them in their bodies until they hatch thus giving birth to live young.

Interesting Facts:

Be Rattlesnake Aware! Download this .pdf: Rattlesnake Awareness Brochure.pdf

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Did YOU Know?    
This is the largest rattlesnake in western North America.
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Class: reptiles
Genus: Crotalus
Species: atrox
Length: Can reach lengths of over 7 feet.
Average Lifespan: 10
Wild Diet: Small mammals, birds, lizards, frogs
Zoo Diet: Frozen/thawed mice
Predators: Birds of prey, man
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed

Learn more about reptiles or animals from North America!
Or, cross-reference the two!