|These snakes inhabit rocky areas of the deserts and mountains, and southern coast region. Primarily nocturnal, they are often seen crawling on roads at night and basking among rocks in the early morning.
In 2007 the species occurring in California - Crotalus mitchellii - was split into two separate species that are similar in appearance.
Check the range map to determine which species occurs in your area.
If you are in the area where the two species meet, one way to tell them apart is by looking at the tail bands.
The tail rings in C. m. pyrrhus are in considerable color contrast with the body color,
with the terminal rings being black and with an ash-gray ground color on the tail often present.
The ground color of the tail of C. stephensi is generally the same as the body color, not contrasting sharply with it.
The last dark tail bands often seem to fuse together into one large black band just before the rattle.