Mottled Rock Rattlesnake
Crotalus lepidus lepidus
Federal and State Protections
Threatened - New Mexico
Countries of Occurrence
18in (45.7cm) - 30.5 (77cm)
States or Providence
New Mexico (US), Texas (US), Chihuahua (MX), Coahuila (MX)
These small rattlesnakes are highly variable in pattern and coloration, usually gray with dark bands but may range from tan to pinkish. Infants have a bright orange or yellow tail tip, which they likely use for caudal luring (swinging the tail as bait to attract prey).
They are known for their association with rocky habitats, typically found in coniferous forests or dry, wooded stream-beds, outcrops/exposed ridgelines, and creosote-cactus scrub. Lizards are their primary prey item, but they are known to occasionally target small rodents. Young may also eat insects.
The home range of this subspecies was found to be larger than that of western diamondback and tiger rattlesnakes, two much larger species at 14 ± 3 hectares! The Mojave rattlesnake, however, has a larger home range than the mottled rock rattlesnake and the other species mentioned. These differences in home range sizes are still unknown on an interspecies level, though it likely has to do with available habitat and differences in microhabitat spaces.