Santa Catalina Island Rattleless Rattlesnake

Santa Catalina Island Rattleless Rattlesnake Crotalus catalinensis

Type of Animal:

Desert arroyos

Isla Santa Catalina in Gulf of California

2 distinct color variations-more common one has light cream base w/ reddish-brown blotching down back & black/white banding around tail, other variant much lighter ash gray color w/ darker gray blotching, both variants lack rattles instead replaced w/ button, small species

Mice, lizards, birds

Status in Wild:
Critically Endangered

Breeding in zoos & wildlife centers. Eradication of cats & pigs.


Additional Info:

Young: Snakelet
Group: Solitary

Male: 7.44 oz
Female: 7.51 oz
3 months 

Life Span:
10 years

Body Length:
Male: 2.08-2.71 ft
Female: 2.04-2.39 ft
Young: 0.93 ft

Tail Length:
Male: 1.45-2.9 in
Female: 1.15-2.59 in
Young: 0.52-1.09 in

Main predators are cats & pigs.
Critically endangered due to introduced predators, restricted range, overcollection, poaching, habitat loss, persecution, climate change, & drought.
Like all rattlesnakes, they’re ovoviviparous, w/ eggs hatching inside mom’s body, resulting in 1-6 live young.
Coloration aids in camouflage.
Can be active any time of day.
Sexually mature at a year old.
Before the arrival of cats & pigs, these small rattlers were apex predators on Isla Santa Catalina.

Fun Fact(s):
These snakes tend to be very docile but like all rattlesnakes are venomous/potentially dangerous.
Scientists not completely sure on why these snakes lack rattles-1 reason may be lack of natural predators, another reason may relate to capturing arboreal prey. These are some of the best skilled climbers among rattlesnakes & loud rattle might hinder capturing arboreal prey.
Scientists believe this species rose from much larger Red Diamond Rattlesnakes, which washed ashore on Isla Santa Catalina long ago.

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