Photo credit:

Johnathon Bolton

Common name

Arizona Black Rattlesnake

Scientific name

Crotalus cerberus

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Federal and State Protections


Countries of Occurrence

United States of America

States or Providence 

Arizona, New Mexico


Adult size

28in (70cm) - 48in (121cm)

Species Description

This species is recognizable for its dark coloration, with some populations being almost entirely black. Others may be dark brown or gray, with darker blotches that turn into bands running down their back. Juveniles are much lighter than adults, and darken as they age.

They are found primarily in mesic woodlands, mesquite scrublands and other habitats with abundant wood debris & leaf litter; but sometimes they may be found grassland habitats.

The Arizona Black Rattlesnake was previously considered a species of the Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis), but has since been elevated to full species status.

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