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Photo credit:

Saúl Banda García Granados

Common name

Queretaran Dusky Rattlesnake

Scientific name

Crotalus aquilus

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Federal and State Protections

Sujeta a Protección Especial (Pr)

Range Map


Countries of Occurrence


Adult size

50 cm (20 in) - 67.8 cm (26.7 in)

States or Providence 

Guanajuato, Hidalgo, México, Michoacán, Aguascalientes and San Luis Potosí


Species Description

This small rattlesnake can be found in the highlands of Central Mexico. The Queretaran dusky rattlesnake has a diverse diet including mammals, lizards, and other snakes - the Mexican pine snake and species of garter snakes are both recorded prey items for this rattlesnake. In their natural habitat, Crotalus aquilus prefers the edges of pine-oak forests, mesquite grasslands and subtropical montane scrublands, all with exposed rock formations. Due to human development, many subpopulations have adapted to using the fringes of cornfields, cattle pastures and rock piles created by dumping.

They are known to hybridize with Crotalus lepidus in parts of Aguascalientes and Zacatecas. These hybrids were found to have a small fraction of procoagulant activity in their venoms, which both of the parent species lack.

Fun fact: The specific epithet of this rattlesnake's name, "aquilus," means "eagle" which refers to the high elevation at which this rattlesnake lives: 5,000 to 14,500 ft above sea level!

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