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(Crotalus cerastes)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Genus: Crotalus
C. cerastes
Binomial name
Crotalus cerastes
Hallowell, 1854
tracks of a sidewinder in the sand

The Sidewinder rattlesnake (Crotalus cerastes), also known as the "Horned Rattlesnake", is a species of venomous pit viper. There are three subspecies. It is called a sidewinder because it uses sidewinding to move across sand.

Description[change | change source]

The Sidewinder rattlesnake is a small species of snake, with adults measuring to about 43 to 76 centimetres (17 to 30 inches) long. The females are larger than the males, which is unusual for most snakes. The color of this snake is usually cream or yellowish-brown, and the belly is white colored.

Where it lives[change | change source]

In the southwestern United States of America it can be found in desert regions of eastern California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah and western Arizona. In northwestern Mexico, it can be found in western Sonora and eastern Baja California.

Behavior[change | change source]

The Sidewinder is nocturnal in hot months and diurnal in cooler months. The Sidewinder uses its tail to attract lizards which it eats, but when it becomes an adult it stops eating lizards and starts eating desert rodents.

Reproduction[change | change source]

A female Sidewinder Rattlesnake gives birth to around 5 to 18 young at a time. For 7–10 days the young stay with their mother in a burrow, they then shed for the first time and then leave the burrow. Sidewinders mature at the age of 2 or 3, then mate in April and May and sometimes in the fall. The female then has its 5-18 babies in the late summer. These babies are born 6-8 inches long. Males live a little bit longer than females, males live to about 13 years old and females about 11 years old.

Subspecies[change | change source]

There are three subspecies:[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Frost, D.R.; Hammerson, G.A. & Gadsden, H. (2007). "Crotalus cerastes". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  2. McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  3. "Crotalus cerastes". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 5 February 2007.