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Photo credit:

Dick Bartlett

Common name

Central Plateau Pygmy Rattlesnake

Scientific name

Crotalus ravus

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Federal and State Protections

Mexico: Threatened (Amenzada)

Range Map


Countries of Occurrence


Adult size

31cm (12in) - 66cm (26in)

States or Providence 

Morelos, Puebla, Veracruz


Species Description

This species can be found in the Central Plateau region of Mexico. Named for its small size, adults usually reach about 26 inches long on average. They inhabit pine-oak forests, montane fir forests, grasslands and xeric scrub slopes.

The Central Plateau pygmy rattlesnake is a generalist predator which feeds on small mammals, lizards, insects, and other snakes.

In 2018, the subspecies under C. ravus were all elevated to species status due to newfound phylogenetic evidence. Prior to 2009, this species had been listed under the genus Sistrurus, with the pygmy rattlesnake and massasaugas, but genetic evidence found that it was closer related to other montane rattlesnakes of Crotalus than to the other pygmies of Sistrurus.

The venom of this species has been shown to have antibacterial effects against bacteria that can cause pneumonia and other infections, especially in hospitals!

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