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Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association
Sonoran Desert Reptiles
Crotalus cerastes (Sidewinder)




Diet: rodents, birds, lizards
Size: 17" to 34" (43 to 86 cm)

Identification: 17 - 33 in. (43-84 cm). The side wise locomotion, with the body moving in an S-shaped curve, is characteristic. Back generally pale, harmonizing with background - cream, tan, pink, or gray, patterned with grayish, yellowish brown, or tan blotches down back. A dark eye stripe. Supraoculars hornlike, pointed, and upturned - this snake is sometimes called the "horned rattler." The horns may fold down over the eyes when the snake crawls in burrows. Scales keeled usually in 21 rows at mid body. Eats pocket mice, kangaroo rats, gophers, lizards, and occasionally birds and their nestlings.


Excerpts from A FIELD GUIDE TO WESTERN REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS, 3/e by Robert C. Stebbins. Copyright (c) 2003 by Robert C. Stebbins. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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Natural History of the Sonoran Desert and Refuge