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 Possible  Green Mojave Rattlesnake In Washington State


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 This green rattlesnake was spotted in Central Washington State area on 10/6/02 by a man traveling with his son. Sending specimen for further analyses by a nearby herpetologist for confirmation . I am waiting analyses for confirmation, otherwise this remains a POSSIBLE sighting. Without analyses by a herpetologist I can not scientifically state this is truly a Crotalus Scutulatus, since herpetology is not my exact field. I am a research scientist. * See note at the bottom of this page

          Click for more on the Green Mojave rattlesnake Here

Known as the most dangerous rattlesnake, the Green Mojave rattlesnake's venom is 10 times as toxic as any other North American rattlesnake. Although, its background color is often greenish, it can vary from greenish gray to faded browns and yellows. Mojave's typically display a distinct diamond-like pattern along their backs, and the diamonds are usually boldly outlined by light borders. Note also the tail bands—the light bands are almost invariably wider than the dark. Another prominent feature is the light colored stripe running from behind the eye to behind the mouth. 

Rattlesnake avoidance best policy


Rattlesnakes seem to have always evoked fear and fascination in people. Even now at Edwards, myths and misconceptions abound about this desert dweller.

Here are some common myths: the Mojave Green is the most dangerous rattler because it has the most potent venom of any rattlesnake; Mojave Greens are the most dangerous rattler because they are more aggressive than any other rattlesnake; the Mojave Green will chase you down, and they have even attacked bulldozers; the Mojave rattlesnake is interbreeding with other snakes so all snakes are becoming poisonous.

Those are the myths. Here are the facts:

Natural History
There are two types of rattlesnakes that normally inhabit Edwards. They are the Mojave rattlesnake, often called the Mojave Green, due to its coloration, and the Sidewinder, named for its unique method of movement.

Two other species that can be found on the base are the Western Diamondback and speckled rattlesnakes. Rattlesnakes exist throughout most of North America, absent only from the higher elevations above 9,000 feet.

Rattlesnakes can be identified because of the distinctive rattles on their tales. But remember, rattlesnakes may not always have rattles because they can break off. All rattlesnakes can be identified by their distinctive triangle shaped head.

The Mojave Green can be pale green to light yellow and the sidewinder is sand colored. They both have diamond-shaped markings along their backs. Rattlesnakes are a cold-blooded reptile, which means their body temperature is controlled by their surrounding environment.
They are commonly found in rock and debris piles, animal burrows and crevices. They will seek out roads, open sandy areas and rocks to sun themselves during cooler temperatures.

They are more active in spring and summer. But it is important to remember you can encounter rattlesnakes anytime and anywhere. Rattlesnakes prey on mice and other small rodents. They don't lay eggs, but rather give live birth to young snakes about 9 to 12 inches long.

Like other snakes, mammals and birds, rattlesnakes fill an important place in the ecosystem by preying on rodents and keeping their populations in balance. When the rattlesnake is found in a backyard, this ecological role may not seem so apparent or important.

Other snakes such as the gopher snake, red racer and king snake are common on Edwards. Many people kill gopher snakes confusing their tan coloration and indistinct black markings for a rattlesnake.

Gopher snakes, red racers and other snakes often hiss and shake their tails imitating the motion and noise made by rattlesnakes. But some snakes like the king snake and gopher snake will help keep rattlesnakes away because they prey on them.

Avoidance is best
The best way to avoid getting bitten by any snake is to simply stay away from them. Team Edwards members should always watch where they put their hands and feet, and if walking through dense shrubs or vegetation, heavy long pants and high boots should be worn.

Never try to handle a rattlesnake, just give it plenty of space. If a rattlesnake is found at work or in the housing area and it creates a hazardous condition, contact the 95th Security Forces' wildlife control section at 277-7138, or the law enforcement desk at 277-3340 for assistance.

Genus: Crotalus
Species: scutulatus

Beck, Daniel D. (Central Washington University)
Ambush-site selection by Sonoran Desert rattlesnakes: A field experiment Abstract

Scientific name: Crotalus scutulatus


The average size of a mature Mojave Rattlesnake is 3 - 4 feet in length, with some getting as large as 5 feet.


The Mojave Rattlesnake is a heavy, thick-bodied snake. The body of the snake is brown, grey, or sometimes olive-greenish or even yellow. Diamond-shaped blotches outlined in a cream color form a pattern along the snake's back. The diamond pattern fades into a banding pattern at the tail end of the Mojave Rattlesnake. The end of the tail ends in a series of black and white rings, with the white rings being wider than the black stripes. The end of the tail has a rattle on it.

There is a cheek-stripe on both sides of the head that starts at the eye and runs diagonally down and backwards above the mouthline. This stripe is outlined on both sides by cream-colored edges.

The Mojave Rattlesnake has elliptical pupils that look like cat's eyes and like all pit vipers, has a heat-sensing pit between the nostril and eye on each side of its head. The Mojave Rattlesnake has a large, triangular head that is wider than the neck when viewed from above.


In the United States, the Mojave Rattlesnake is found in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah.

Map does not show area of true distribution, only the states in which there is a population.
Actual distribution in any highlighted state may be limited.
*You MUST contact a nearby herpetologist for confirmation therefore data can be updated for maps of true distribution.

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