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Common name

Yucatan Neotropical Rattlesnake

Scientific name

Crotalus tzabcan

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Federal and State Protections

N/A

Countries of Occurrence

Mexico, Belize, Guatemala

States or Providence 

Quintana Roo (MX), Campeche (MX), Yucatán (MX), El Petén (GT), Belize (BZ), Cayo (BZ), Corozal (BZ), Orange Walk (BZ), Stann Creek (BZ), Toledo (BZ)

Counties

Adult size

Up to 62.9in (160cm)

Species Description

The Yucatan Neotropical Rattlesnake, also called the Yucatan Rattlesnake or the Tzabcan Rattlesnake, is a medium-sized species endemic to the Yucatan Peninsula. This species specializes in eating rodents, which account for over 93% of its prey. Yucatan Rattlesnakes utilize both coastal dry forest and tropical wet forests, and been observed swimming in open lagoons.

An interesting defensive behavior displayed by this species is neck-flattening, where the snake flattens its neck laterally to look larger. A possible explanation for this behavior is that by making the neck look larger, the snake can cause a predator to misjudge its ability to properly target the neck and subdue the head.

Like its cousin, Crotalus simus, Crotalus tzabcan exhibits an ontogenetic shift in venom, where juveniles possess neurotoxin but slowly develop a hemotoxin as they grow to adulthood.

This snake is named for the word "tzabcan", which means rattlesnake in Mayan.

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© 2019 The Rattlesnake Conservancy, 501(c)(3) corporation

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