Great Basin Rattlesnake
Crotalus oreganus lutosus
Federal and State Protections
Countries of Occurrence
United States of America
66cm (26in) - 121 (48in)
States or Providence
Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona
This large rattlesnake can reach up to 48 inches in length and resides in many of the western states along the Great Basin in dry and barren habitats. It is distinctly blotched, typically with a banded tail before the rattle. Great Basin rattlesnakes occupy a variety of habitats, from arid flats, sagebrush thickets, rocky hillsides, grasslands
Prey is made up of primarily rodents and lizards, with rodents being the preferred prey of larger, adult individuals and lizards making up the diet of juvenile--however, even in adults, lizards comprise the majority of prey items taken in the cooler months of Fall & Spring.
While rare, the Great Basin rattlesnake is one of the few, if only, species known to eat eggs.
The Great Basin rattlesnake is extremely variable in coloration of its blotches and the rest of its body. The blotches may be chocolatey, tan, silver, or different shades in between, and the background is just as variable. Most often, the blotches are either darker or a similar color to the rest of the snake.
They also exhibit sexual dimorphism, with males having proportionally larger heads compared to their body than do females.