Field notes and photography by Bryan D. Hughes

Mcdowell Mountains Tiger Rattlesnake

Here’s a nice bluish tiger rattlesnake from the Mountains near Fountain Hills found with some friends one night. ¬†Look at that funny little head, haha. I have one of these that lives in an enclosure with a few speckled rattlesnakes, and the body-girth to head-size ratio between them puts their head pretty much at half the size of a normal rattlesnake head.

Also, while I’m thinking about it … the tiger rattlesnake was the very first species of rattlesnake I ever saw in Arizona, seen dead on a South Mountain trailside with my friend. It had been killed by a hiker, and the only reason I know it was a tiger at the time (this is before I really thought too much about rattlesnakes every day) because thinking back, my thought was “wow, what a weird little head”. Still little, still weird, and I still love seeing these guys out and about.

Here’s another one from just down the way of the above fellow. We would have walked right past him if he wasn’t buzzing up the side of the hill at the sight of us.

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3 Responses to “Mcdowell Mountains Tiger Rattlesnake”

  1. Crotalus says:

    They do look a lot like Speckled Rattlers, don’t they? I guess the head size is the best way to tell the difference, yes?

  2. Bryan says:

    That they do, though the banding does look quite different when they’re compared side by side. The coloration of the speckleds in most of the places they’re found is distinctive to that region, as well, where most of the tigers I’ve seen cover a much smaller gamut. The size of the head is a definite give-away in most cases. Right next to a similarly sized speckled, the head of a tiger will be about HALF the size of the other.

  3. marianne says:

    Yet another one to keep a lookout for! Beautiful photographs as always.

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