Home - Guide - Sidewinder Rattlesnake
Sidewinder Rattlesnake
(Crotales cerastes)
© Rdodson
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Viperidae
Genus: Crotalus
Species: cerastes
IUCN Status:
Not Listed
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    There are three subspecies of Sidewinder Rattlesnake
    including the Mojave Sidewinder, the Colorado
    Sidewinder and the Sonoran Sidewinder.  The three
    subspecies inhabit various parts of Arizona, Nevada,
    California, northern Mexico and Utah.  


    Like many other snakes the diet of the Sidewinder
    consists of small rodents such as the Kangaroo Rat and
    lizards.  The Sidewinder uses venom to kill its prey.  
    Though a bite is probably not lethal to humans due to its
    small size, the Sidewinder is poisonous and if bitten a
    person should seek professional medical attention


    The Sidewinder can often be found buried in the sand of
    the desert or in animal burrows.  The Sidewinder will
    mostly be seen at night as it is primarily nocturnal.  

Size and Description

    The length of a Sidewinder can range from 1.5 to 2.5 feet,
    but Sidewinders of over 30 inches are rarely observed.  A
    Sidewinder can be distinguished by the raised scales
    above its eyes creating a horn-like appearance.  These
    structures are not horns however, and they may be an
    adaptation that help protect the snake's eyes.  The color
    of the Sidewinder is pale to brown with small dark
    patches.  This coloration allows the snake to blend in
    with the sand.


    Up to 18 young can be born per litter, and the young are
    born in an embryonic membrane.