Field notes and photography by Bryan D. Hughes

My First Tiger Rattlesnake

Kelly and I went out for a quick trip to the Superstition Mountains Saturday night, not expecting to see much due to the clear sky and weekend traffic. Surprisingly, the traffic wasn’t bad at all, though things were still slow. We saw one snake once the temperature got down to reasonable Crotalus-loving levels. The one and only snake of the night was our first Crotalus tigris (Tiger rattlesnake).

I’d seen (smelled, rather) a dead C. tigris while hiking South Mountain with Floyd a few years back, not too long before I started treating field herping like a serious hobby. Of course I didn’t consider it a ‘first’, since it was dead. Still, I’ve always wanted to see a live one.

Crotalus tigris has the most potent venom of any rattlesnake. The snake was very calm, though alert, through nearly all of the photography and handling (tongs). That lasted until I slid my camera through the gravel towards it on a time-delay to get a good macro shot. It didn’t like the vibration and went apeshit. Good time to go home and watch a really stupid movie, or about 30 minutes of it anyway. We should have stayed in the mountains.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply