A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

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Western Rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus) in California

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Venomous and Potentially Dangerous!
This dangerously venomous snake occurs throughout California, excluding the southern deserts. It lives in a wide variety of habitats - mountains, forests, chaparral, sagebrush, grasslands, woodlands - and and often occurs in close proximity to humans. It can be active day or night.

Check the range map below to determine which subspecies occurs in your area.

Look here for information about identifying the three subspecies found in California.

snake snake snake
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake -  Crotalus oreganus oreganus
snake snake snake
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus helleri
snake snake snake
© Brad Alexander
Great Basin Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus lutosus

Blue: Crotalus oreganus helleri (=Crotalus helleri) -
 Southern Pacific Rattlesnake

Orange: Crotalus oreganus lutosus (=Crotalus lutosus) -
 Great Basin Rattlesnake

Red: Crotalus oreganus oreganus (=Crotalus oreganus) -
 Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

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