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Photo credit:

Johnathan Bolton

Common name

Tiger Rattlesnake

Scientific name

Crotalus tigris

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Federal and State Protections


Range Map


Countries of Occurrence

United States of America, Mexico

Adult size

18in (46cm) to 36in (91cm)

States or Providence 

Arizona (USA), Sonora (MX), possibly in extreme southwestern New Mexico (USA) and extreme northwestern Chihuahua (MX)


Yuma (AZ), Pima (AZ), Santa Cruz (AZ), Cochise (AZ), Greenlee (AZ), Graham (AZ), Pinal (AZ), Gila (AZ), Maricopa (AZ), Yavapai (AZ)

Species Description

The tiger rattlesnake is a relatively small species of rattlesnake, noticeable due to its heavy banding all the way down the body, small head and proportionally large rattle.

They are primarily nocturnal, and can be found in mesquite grasslands, thornscrub, dry oak forests and arroyos/washouts. However, their habitat use changes as they are more likely to inhabit rocky hillsides and ridges in the spring and winter, while using scrub and mesquite habitat in drier conditions. During wet summers, they often use washes for migration.

Tiger rattlesnakes mate in the late summer (July-August). Females give birth usually once every three years, and give birth to 2-6 young at one time.

Their venom is one of, if not the most deadly of any rattlesnake species and potentially of any pit viper species. It is comprised of a neurotoxic-myotoxic cocktail which causes paralysis. However, they inject only a low dose and like other species of rattlesnake, tiger rattlesnakes are very mild-tempered and unlikely to strike.

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