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Crotalus oreganus cerberus

crotalus cerberus, crotalus oreganus cerberus
Crotalus oreganus cerberus is a venomous pit viper subspecies5 found in the southwestern United States


  • 1 Description
  • 2 Color change
  • 3 Common names
  • 4 Geographic range
  • 5 Diet
  • 6 Reproduction
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links


According to Wright and Wright 1957, adults grow to an average length of 78–109 cm 31–43 in Klauber 1997 reports the maximum length to be less at 1,032 mm 40 5⁄8 in, with the smallest gravid female measuring 701 mm 27 5⁄8 in6 Hubbs and O'Connor 2012 list an adult size range of 812–1,219 mm 320–480 in7

The color pattern consists of a dark grayish, brownish black, reddish brown, or blackish ground color, overlaid with a dorsal pattern of blotches that are rectangular anteriorly, becoming subhexagonal posteriorly, eventually becoming crossbands just before the tail However, specimens also may be a uniform dark color without any clear dorsal pattern, or the dorsal blotches may be even darker and bordered with white, cream, or yellow transverse rows of scales, or the color pattern may be quite pale with a significant amount of yellow mixed in A postocular stripe is evident in lightly colored specimens, but not so much in darker ones8

Color changeedit

Some adult Arizona black rattlesnakes can change color relatively quickly, an ability shared not only with chameleons but also with other snakes such as some species in the genus Tropidophis Further research is needed to determine the mechanism and stimuli for this phenomenon in this rattlesnake7

Common namesedit

Arizona black rattlesnake, black rattlesnake, black diamond rattlesnake, brown rattlesnake, Cerberus rattlesnake, mountain diamond-back4 Also often incorrectly referred to as a timber rattlesnake

Geographic rangeedit

Found in the United States, in Arizona from the Hualapai Mountains and Cottonwood Cliffs in the northwest of the state, southeast to the Santa Catalina, Rincon, Pinaleno and Blue Mountains Also found at Steeple Rock, in extreme western New Mexico6 The type locality given is "San Francisco Mountains" Coconino County, Arizona, USA1


It preys upon suitably sized amphibians, reptiles, birds and their eggs, and mammals7


Sexually mature females bear live young in broods of 4 to 21 neonates7 The Arizona black rattlesnake is the first species of snake observed to exhibit complex social behavior, and parenting behavior reminiscent of that in mammals Females often remain with their young in nests for several weeks, and mothers have been observed cooperatively parenting their broods9

See alsoedit

  • List of crotaline species and subspecies
  • Crotalus by common name
  • Crotalus by taxonomic synonyms
  • Crotalinae by common name
  • Crotalinae by taxonomic synonyms
  • Snakebite


  1. ^ a b McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T 1999 Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol 1 Herpetologists' League 511 pp ISBN 1-893777-00-6 series ISBN 1-893777-01-4 volume
  2. ^ Ashton, KG; de Queiroz, A 2001 "Molecular systematics of the western rattlesnake, Crotalus viridis Viperidae, with comments on the utility of the d-loop in phylogenetic studies of snakes" PDF Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 21 2: 176–189 doi:101006/mpev20011013 PMID 11697914 
  3. ^ The Reptile Database wwwreptile-databaseorg
  4. ^ a b Wright AH, Wright AA 1957 Handbook of Snakes 2 volumes Comstock Publishing Associates 7th printing, 1985 1105 pp ISBN 0-8014-0463-0
  5. ^ "Crotalus oreganus cerberus" Integrated Taxonomic Information System Retrieved 1 August 2007 
  6. ^ a b Klauber LM 1997 Rattlesnakes: Their Habitats, Life Histories, and Influence on Mankind Second Edition 2 volumes Reprint, University of California Press, Berkeley ISBN 0-520-21056-5
  7. ^ a b c d Hubbs, Brian and Brendan O'Connor 2012 A Guide to the Rattlesnakes and other Venomous Serpents of the United States Tricolor Books Tempe, Arizona, 129 pp ISBN 978-0-9754641-3-7 Crotalus cerberus, pp 34-35
  8. ^ Campbell JA, Lamar WW 2004 The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere 2 volumes Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca and London 870 pp 1500 plates ISBN 0-8014-4141-2
  9. ^ Amerello, Melissa; Smith, Jeffrey; Slone, John 2011 "Family values: Maternal care in rattlesnakes is more than mere attendance" Nature Precedings doi:101038/npre201166711 

External linksedit

  • Crotalus oreganus at the Reptariumcz Reptile Database Accessed 12 August 2007
  • Arizona Black Rattlesnake, Crotalus viridis cerberus at the National Park Service Accessed 18 June 2008

crotalus cerberus, crotalus oreganus cerberus

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Crotalus oreganus cerberus

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