Southwestern Field Herpetology

Southwestern Field Herpetology
Apr
25th
2011

Following A Diamondback

I went on a short afternoon hike today to see if I could find some diamondbacks, or at least work on my new boots a bit before my big trip to PA in 3 weeks. Within 15 minutes I found a skinny, female diamondback out sniffing through some brush, and was far enough away so that she hadn’t noticed me. Rather than get a photo and move on looking for more, I thought I’d just spend the sunset time following her to see what she does.

Here she is as found.

diamondback

She nosed around the bush for awhile, and eventually decided to move to the other side.

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… and after looking in and out of a few holes along the opposite side, she coiled up against the warm dirt wall, which is how I left her a few minutes later without so much as a tongue flick in my direction.

C-atrox-1-042011


 

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4 Responses to “Following A Diamondback”

  1. feralchick says:

    Wonderful post. And I love that last photo–she looks so cozy! (Around here, I never to get see a snake rest after it’s been on the move. Too many other things going on.)

    What clues did you use to determine that this one was female?

  2. Bryan says:

    Can’t really see it in the picture, but she has a little snub tail and distinct change in taper just after the cloaca, both signs of a female. Males store their genitals in the tail and it makes the taper more gradual, or even get thicker again before the rattle.

  3. feralchick says:

    Thanks, Bryan! So in your later post, would the snakes in the second and third photos both be females?

  4. Bryan says:

    If you mean the one with the mojave and the diamondback right after this post, I think the mojave is a female, but the diamondback is a male with a poor camera angle 🙂

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