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Colorado Desert Sidewinder
Crotalus cerastes laterorepens
Federal and State Protections
Sujeta a Protección Especial (Pr) - Mexico
Countries of Occurrence
United States of America
States or Providence
Arizona (US), California (US), Baja California (MX), Sinaloa (MX)
47cm (18.5in) - 61.5cm (24.2)
This small rattlesnake can be found only in the Colorado Desert and larger Sonoran Desert in California, Arizona, and northern Mexico. Home range and a black basal rattle segment best differentiate this sidewinder from the other subspecies of sidewinders. The Colorado Desert sidewinder primarily eats lizards and mammals. Juveniles of this species will use their tail as a caudal lure to attract prey, especially lizards. Sidewinders have been recorded drinking rainwater from their scales as they live in very parched environments with little access to standing water.
Fun fact: The Colorado Desert experiences higher daytime temperatures than most other deserts and almost never frosts. It also has two rainy seasons, unlike the rest of the Sonoran Desert: late summer and over the winter. This may allow for the Colorado Desert sidewinder to be active at different times of the summer season than its Sonoran Desert and Mohave Desert counterparts.