Western Rattlesnake?
Grand Canyon Ratlesnake?
(Crotalus virdis)--right now.?

So, very soon the Grand Canyon Rattlesnake will go from being
Crotalus virdis abyssus to Crotalus abyssus.

With the Herpetologist, Ornithologist, & Mammalogy people
changing name these days it's no wonder we can't keep up with the names.


Map and range not to any scale nor is it absolute.

The Prairie Rattlesnake which is the one we have photographed here,
extreme West Iowa to the Rockies, S. Alberta to Northern Mexico.

This snake is very aggressive and excitable.
In higher elevations many congregate in large numbers for over wintering in a common area.
In the desert it may winter in mammal holes or dens/burrows.


A subspecies of the Western Rattlesnake
(Crotalus virdis)--right now. A book called Biology of the Pit Viper will be out.
In this book will be a paper by Dr. Gordon Schuett at Arizona State University that will elevate to
species almost all of the subspecies of Crotalus virdis (the Western
Rattlesnake). So, very soon the Grand Canyon Rattlesnake will go from being
Crotalus virdis abyssus to Crotalus abyssus.

But, in the meantime all the subspecies of the Western Rattlesnake do have
individual common names which correspond to their Crotalus
virdis virdis is the Prairie Rattlesnake; Crotalus v. helleri is the
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake; Crotalus v. nuntius is the Hopi
Rattlesnake...etc. Actually there is no one rattlesnake called the Western
Rattlesnake. The term "Western Rattlesnake" refers to the whole "virdis"
group. It is a very general term which refers to no one rattlesnake.

If you're further interested......the only two rattlesnakes that will be in
the "western rattlesnake" group (after this paper is published) will be
Crotalus virdis virdis, the Prairie rattlesnake and Crotalus v. nuntius, the
Hopi Rattlesnake. The Southern Pacific rattlesnake, Crotalus virdis helleri
will become Crotalus helleri helleri and will have another subspecies added
to its group, but unfortunately I can't remember it's name--it's a snake
found on an island off the coast of California. The remainder of the
"virdis" subspecies (abyssus, cerberus, oreganus, concolor, lutosus) will
all become distinct species on their own.


I thought we would never get to the photos.


All I can say is,
if you run across this guy/snake in the wild, just say
HI, give him a wide birth, and get out of his way quickly.


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