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Common name

Tortuga Island Rattlesnake

Scientific name

Crotalus tortugensis

Conservation Status

Federal and State Protections

Countries of Occurrence


Adult size

States or Providence 

Baja California


Isla Tortuga

Species Description

This medium-sized rattlesnake is endemic to Isla Tortuga in the Gulf of California. It is most closely related to the western diamondback rattlesnake and is differentiated by a less distinct diamond pattern and scalation, especially on the head. It occurs in dry, rocky habitat, often dried than mainland Mexico. Little else is known about the natural history and ecology of the Isla Tortuga rattlesnake.

Fun fact: Isla Tortuga was formed by a volcano; snakes, presumably the western diamondback rattlesnake, migrated about 25 miles over water to colonize the island and establish themselves as a new species. It is unknown when the volcano last erupted.

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