Brandon La Forest (HERP.MX)
Totonacan rattlesnake; Totonacas rattlesnake
Federal and State Protections
Countries of Occurrence
150-166.5 cm (4.9-5.46 ft)
States or Providence
San Luis Potosí, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Querétaro, Hidalgo, and Veracruz.
Crotalus totonacus is a diurnal/ crepuscular species most often is associated with watercourses. This large rattlesnake can only be found in a few states of northeastern Mexico along the Sierra Madre Oriental. It occupies a diverse range of habitats, from sea level to 6500 ft elevation, including the foggy hardwood forest shown in the photo below. They prey on birds and small mammals such as rodents, opossums, and squirrels. The Totonacan rattlesnake is diurnal and crepuscular by nature.
Fun fact: Little research has been done on this species due to its isolated range and low density despite growing to lengths of around 5 ft. We are still finding new information about the distribution of this species. It is believed that the Totonacan rattlesnake may hybridize with other species nearby such as the black-tailed rattlesnake and the Central American rattlesnake. More research into their ecology and biology is needed to draw any certain conclusions.