Arizona Rattlesnakes

Arizona Rattlesnakes
Jun
14th
2010

A Night in the Superstition Mountains. Diamondback, Blacktails, and a Lyresnake

My wife and I went on a quick trip to the Superstition Mountains and had a little success. We spent maybe the most productive hiking hour at Tortilla Flats eating hamburgers, which had to be done eventually. I’ve driven past the place more times than I can count, but I’ve always been on my way somewhere … so we stopped and it was well worth it. We got out in time to get to our location for a quick 30 minute hike before it was time to cruise, and it paid off immediately. Only a hundred yards into our hike we found a large Blacktail Rattlesnake, Crotalus molossus, cruising through a dry wash. It was my wife’s first blacktail, so we spent a lot of time with it and took a lot of pictures.

Crotalus molossus
Crotalus molossus
blacktail rattlesnake
blacktail rattlesnake
rattlesnake in the superstition moutains
rattlesnake in the superstition moutains
black tail rattlesnake
black tail rattlesnake
molossus
molossus

We got back to our car just before dark and found this baby Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox, right away. We didn’t take too much care with the pics on this one. Photographed and moved off the road.

Crotalus atrox
Crotalus atrox

Then we found one of my favorite Colubrids, the Sonoran Lyresnake, Trimorphodon lambda. He had kind of a jacked up lower jaw as if he had swallowed part of it, but it looked to be healing, and it had some food in the belly, so it looks like he’ll be fine.

lyresnake
lyresnake
Trimorphodon lambda
Trimorphodon lambda
popeye face
popeye face
Sonoran Lyresnake in Arizona
Sonoran Lyresnake in Arizona

On the way out, we found the last thing I expected, a Couch’s Spadefoot Toad. These are pretty common during the monsoons in the flats, but we were still well within the foothills when we found him. Weird.

Couch's Toad
Couch's Toad

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4 Responses to “A Night in the Superstition Mountains. Diamondback, Blacktails, and a Lyresnake”

  1. Michael says:

    Do you handle lyresnakes barehanded? I’ve heard their bite can cause swelling and mild irritation.

  2. Bryan says:

    I do from time to time, but I usually use a mini hook or stick to calm them down first. I don’t do it much though! Just because it’s not a bad bite doesn’t mean I want a sore hand, haha.

  3. Alberto Vaona says:

    Hi to all
    Where are THESE Mountains?

    Nice photos!!!!!!!!

  4. Philip says:

    I have a couple photos of snakes I caught in the neighborhood the last couple nights. Someone was telling me it was a Mojave, but now that I google imaged it, it looks more like a black tail rattler. Maybe you can help me identify??Although my pics wont be as nice as yours..thanks
    Also do any of these snakes change colors to their surroundings?
    thanks again.

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