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Photo credit:

Derek Dykstra

Common name

Sonoran Desert Sidewinder

Scientific name

Crotalus cerastes cercobombus

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Federal and State Protections

Sujeta a Protección Especial (Pr) - Mexico

Range Map


Countries of Occurrence

USA, Mexico

Adult size

25in (62.8cm)

States or Providence 

Arizona (USA), Sonora (MX)


Yuma (AZ), Maricopa (AZ), Pima (AZ), Pinal (AZ), Hermosillo (SON)

Species Description

Like all sidewinder rattlesnakes, this subspecies uses the same rolling method of locomotion ("sidewinding") to move across heated desert sand while only exposing a small fraction of its body to the surface at any given time. It is active at night, laying in ambush partially covered in sand. Prey includes lizards, rodents and even small snakes.

Typical habitat includes arid sand flats, sand dunes, and open creosote scrublands.

It can be distinguished from the other two subspecies of C. cerastes by range, as well as having a black proximal rattle segment ("button" connecting the rattle to the tail).

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