Photo credit:

Johnathan Bolton

Common name

Eastern Black-Tailed Rattlesnake

Scientific name

Crotalus ornatus

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Federal and State Protections


Countries of Occurrence

United States of America, Mexico

Adult size

70– 100 cm, rarely to 130 cm SVL*

States or Providence 

Texas (USA); Chihuahua, Nuevo León (MX)


Species Description

Eastern Black-tailed Rattlesnakes may be gray, olive or tan, with dark gray, brown or black rhombic patterns. As the name suggests, this species has a distinct black tail often lacking any visible banding.

The Eastern Black-tailed Rattlesnake was recognized as a separate species distinct from the Black-tailed Rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus ssp.) in 2012. The two species can best be distinguished by geographic range.

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