top of page

Photo credit:

Dick Barlett

Common name

Great Basin Rattlesnake

Scientific name

Crotalus oreganus lutosus

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Federal and State Protections

Range Map


Countries of Occurrence

United States of America

Adult size

66cm (26in) - 121 (48in)

States or Providence 

Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona


Species Description

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.

bottom of page