rattlesnakes, 2006-2009

December 8, 2010

Now that lizard photos from the past few years are finished, it’s time for some other reptiles.

I have encountered quite a few rattlesnakes in the field.  Often I have not photographed them, but here are some I have photographed.

Following the specimen photo, I’ll sometimes include a habitat photo.

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great basin rattler, subadult, S Indian Peak Range

early May 06, great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), subadult, Indian Peak Range, S foothills, Iron Co, UT

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great basin rattler, large, SE Black Mtns

mid May 06, great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), large, SE Black Mtns, Iron Co, UT

Notice the rodent droppings under the juniper here with this hefty rattler.

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Different photo of same specimen as above:

great basin rattler, large & facing, SE Black Mtns

mid May 06, great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), large & facing, SE Black Mtns, Iron Co, UT

Some of the largest great basin rattlers I’ve seen have also been the most laid-back.  This one is one of those–unperturbed, not even bothering to rattle, and generally showing very little annoyance with my presence during a short photo session.

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great basin rattler, small adult, N Deep Creek Mtns

early June 06, great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), small adult, N Deep Creek Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

This one was coiled within the arms of a shrub, where it found some sense of protection but also could receive some direct light from the setting sun.

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great basin rattler, large, NE Deep Creek Mtns

mid June 06, great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), large adult, dirt road, NE Deep Creek Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

This adult was heading away from the higher elevations of the mountains, into the vast, very dry, flatness.

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great basin rattler, subadult, E central Deep Creek Mtns

mid June 06, great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), subadult, E central Deep Creek Mtns, Juab Co, UT

On a very warm afternoon, while hiking up a steep canyon that had no trail, I found this subadult coiled in the shade below a granite wall.  When it noticed me it uncoiled and retreated beneath the granite.

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great basin rattler, dead adult, paved road, Lake Mtns

late July 06, great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), dead adult, paved road, along Lake Mtns, Utah Co, UT

This is a rather familiar sight on many of central Utah’s two-lane highways in the summertime.  The number of rattlers killed annually by vehicles within Utah is probably in the thousands.

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western diamondback rattler, paved road, N of Kingman

early Oct 06, western diamondback rattler (Crotalus atrox), on paved road, N of Kingman, Mohave Co, AZ

In these two posts of rattler photos, here is my sole photo that does not involve great basin rattlesnakes.  This is an adult western diamondback I saw in NW Arizona, near the northern limit of this species’ documented range in that state.

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great basin rattler, adult, E North Sevier Plateau

late May 07, great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), adult, E North Sevier Plateau, Piute Co, UT

This small adult was resting in the shade here, and did not move at all as I slowly approached for this shot.

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habitat of great basin rattler, E North Sevier Plateau

late May 07, habitat of great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), E North Sevier Plateau, Piute Co, UT

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great basin rattler, subadult, E South Sevier Plateau

late May 07, great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), subadult, dirt road, E South Sevier Plateau, Garfield Co, UT

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habitat of great basin rattler, E South Sevier Plateau

late May 07, habitat of great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), E South Sevier Plateau, Garfield Co, UT

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great basin rattler, neonate, Canyon Mtns

mid May 08, great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), neonate, Canyon Mtns, Millard Co, UT

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habitat of great basin rattler, neonate, Canyon Mtns

mid May 08, habitat of great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), neonate, Canyon Mtns, Millard Co, UT

The tree and shrub species in this photo are widespread–Juniperus osteosperma (utah juniper), Pinus edulis (two-needle pinion), Artemisia tridentata (big sagebrush), and Quercus gambelli (gambel oak).  The rock is orangish quartzite.

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great basin rattler, hibernaculum, Sheeprock Mtns

mid May 09, great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), adult at hibernaculum, Sheeprock Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

This rattlesnake was one of the most irritable I have come across.  Nearby, I found another rattler that’s shown below.  (Also nearby found 4 yellowbelly racers sheltering under wood.  One large male racer was with two adult females, and under a second piece of wood a small male racer was alone.)

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great basin rattler, hibernaculum, Sheeprock Mtns

mid May 09, great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), larger adult at hibernaculum, Sheeprock Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

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great basin rattler shed, S House Range

late May 09, great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), shed, S House Range, Millard Co, UT

Sometimes if you find a tattered fragment it can be difficult to distinguish a shed rattler skin from a shed gophersnake skin.  But this one was clearly rattler.

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great basin rattler, fat adult, Canyon Mtns

mid June 09, great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), fat adult, Canyon Mtns, Millard Co, UT

This hefty rattler was initially coiled on the surface of this talus, on a cool and overcast day.  As I approached it uncoiled and retreated.

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great basin rattler, subadult, Wasatch Mtns

late Sept 09, great basin rattler (Crotalus lutosus), subadult, Wasatch Mtns, Salt Lake Co, UT

This specimen showed a less common greenish tint.  Because green is an awkward color for digital cameras to record under some conditions, you cannot see this specimen’s green in this shot.

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