Arizona Naturalists >>> Sycamore Gallery Animals >>> Snakes >>> Crotalus molossus

Black-tailed Rattlesnake

Crotalus molossus

Black-tailed Rattlesnake, © by Michael Plagens taken near the East Verde River n. of Payson, Gila Co., Arizona. July 2010

Observed at night in lower Madera Canyon, Sta. Rita Mts., Arizona, USA, Sept. 2010.

From Wikipedia: Black-tailed Rattlesnakes range in color from yellows and olive greens to browns and black. As their name implies, one of their most distinguishing features is, despite variations in body color, the tail scales are entirely black. Often, this rattlesnake has a black band across its eyes and diagonally down to the corners of its mouth, forming a sort of facial 'mask'. Like other rattlesnakes, C. molossus has a rattle composed of keratin on the end of its tail. Each time the snake sheds its skin, a new segment is added to the rattle. They can shed their skin several times a year, and the rattle is fairly fragile and can be broken, so the length of a rattlesnake's rattle is not an accurate measure of its age, unless the terminal button is intact.

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More Information:

Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
The Fauna of Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 26 September 2013