Field notes and photography by Bryan D. Hughes

Finding Hopi Rattlesnakes, Part 3

Continued from part 1. and part 2

More Hopi Rattlesnakes, Crotalus viridis, from North Central Arizona.

C. viridis
C. viridis
Hopi Rattlesnake
Hopi Rattlesnake
Hopi Rattlesnake
Hopi Rattlesnake

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7 Responses to “Finding Hopi Rattlesnakes, Part 3”

  1. John Delgado says:

    Bryan — I need your help. Please help me understand how to ID the difference between the Prairie Rattlesnake – Crotalus viridis viridis and the Hopi Rattlesnake – Crotalus viridis nuntius.

    Three has to be a visible difference, I’ve looked and I’ve searched… reading etc.
    What am I missing? – Please help me to understand.

  2. Bryan says:

    Hey John,

    You’re not missing anything, it’s very confusing. C. v. nuntius was actually sunk several years ago, so the Hopi variant is just a local morphological description. However, it may be coming back, based on new research in the oreganus clade. Here’s the paper I’m referring to, which also elevates Crotalus lutosus to full species (as I label my photos this last year).

  3. John Delgado says:

    Thank you Bryan… that looks like some very good reading right there, and I can’t wait to get started.
    The range map is excellent, and the ML gene tree is interesting. Also page 70 visual breakdown is great. This is going to take some work for me to decipher… but it looks doable.
    Question: So… lutosus is breaking off from oreganus as in Crotalus lutosus? – C.o. oreganus and C. o. lutosus are not related?
    I understand you said it’s in the paper you sent me, but I’m just curious that I am reading that correctly? – If so… that just blows away anything I’ve understood so far about these two subspecies… actually two separate species.

  4. Bryan says:

    You’re reading it correctly – C. lutosus has been elevated to a distinct species. Some other interesting shuffling with abyssus and concolor now excludes any form of oreganus from Arizona.

  5. John Delgado says:

    “Interesting shuffling …” Exactly, that paper is frying my mind in a good way — Apparently the author of the Thesis, Ms. Julianne R. Goldenberg, is rocking the Crotalus world with solid evidence that C. o. oreganus “A” from Oregon, Washington, Canada and C. o. oreganus “B” from Northern California are completely separate species/subspecies. However, more study is needed to find the line where if they exchange DNA. Ms. Goldenberg stated that the DNA of these two are so different she doesn’t think that they are interbreeding — WHAT…!?! Oh great, now I have questions.
    Here is the video where she gives a talk on the thesis paper she authored on Crotalus viridis – and near the end she gets into C. o. oreganus A & B —

  6. Bryan says:

    Hey thanks! I didn’t know that this was presented on a video. I’ll share this in the feed.

  7. John Delgado says:

    Additionally, I just found Ms. Goldenberg’s Thesis on line.
    In this link –
    1. Go to bottom of the page
    2. and click ‘Download’

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