The Australian Reptile Park and Wildlife Sanctuary
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Rock rattlesnake

Scientific Name: Crotalus Lepidus

Did You Know?

Like most pitvipers, the rock rattlesnake has infrared sensors. Located in the pits between the eyes and the nostrils, the sensors help the snakes find their warm-blooded prey at night when they hunt.

Although venomous, the rock rattlesnake is one of the least aggressive rattlesnakes, preferring to rely on camouflage to deter attack. When threatened, it will shake its rattle, which is made of keratin – the same substance that makes human fingernails. It grows to 85 centimetres and adds a new segment to the rattle on the end of its tail every time it sheds its skin. The snakes have a broad triangular head on a slender neck. Colouring varies though is usually grey, to brown with bands of black or other rock-colours. Undersides are pinkish and diamond-spotting can occur between the bands.


The rock rattlesnake is found in the southwestern United States and northern central Mexico. As its name implies, it favours rocky habitat and its colouring will often match that of the surrounding rock.


Small mammals (such as rodents), birds, lizards and frogs. It injects venom into its prey via its hollow retractable fangs.


Rock rattlesnakes breed once a year in spring. The mother incubates her eggs internally and four months later gives birth to 6 to 8 live young. These are miniature versions of their parents and take three years to mature.

More Exotic Snakes
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