An interesting Tiger rattlesnake

Accounts and photos of non-captive reptiles in their natural habitat outside of South Africa. Try to record with your account details such as time of day/night, temperature, weather conditions, lunar cycle, sex, rough age of reptile, and so on.

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An interesting Tiger rattlesnake

Postby croteseeker » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:37 am

I've only ever seen two split-phase tigers (half red phase/half blue phase) and I found my second one tonight. They might be common in other ranges, but I'm not really sure. I only know that it's pretty odd for the ones I'm used to seeing. She was a feisty little girl who had just dropped. Thought I'd share her with you guys:

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The red or peach coloration on the first few dorsal scale rows is normal on tigers of all color phases. But the tail on this girl looks like a red-phase animal.

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Other than that, it was a slow night. We were hoping to see some action at one of our molossus dens and maybe even see some mud turtles, but no such luck. :smt009 The full moon limited our finds to mostly frogs and toads. We did see some Lowland Leopard frogs (a protected species) and a neonate atrox, though.

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Well, that's all for now. Gotta wake up early and go photograph some Green Sea turtles in the morning.
" a squat, scaly worm with, 'don't touch,' on one end and, 'that's why,' on the other."

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Re: An interesting Tiger rattlesnake

Postby Bushviper » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:36 pm

Dont you find that herping during full moon is not as successful?

I like the Tiger rattler!
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Re: An interesting Tiger rattlesnake

Postby croteseeker » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:40 pm

Yes and no. I find that the buzzworms don't seem to be too bothered by the full moon. Some of the different colubrids, on the other hand, do seem to come out less when the moon is full and bright. Even road cruising, the crotes don't really move when your headlights hit them, unless they were already doing so. But when you're cruising for, say, kingsnakes, it's a completely different story. They're much more photosensitive, so they usually bolt when you light them up. You'd be surprised at the speeds some people cruise for some colubrids, for that very reason.

I'm glad you liked the tiger. I'll be sure to post anything else interesting that I might come across. :smt006
" a squat, scaly worm with, 'don't touch,' on one end and, 'that's why,' on the other."

-Thomas Palmer
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Re: An interesting Tiger rattlesnake

Postby croteseeker » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:39 am

Well, another full moon, and yet another tiger. This one's a full red-phase. It's also my first opportunity to get daylight photos of one. Rather than start a new thread, I figured I'd post this guy here and bring this post up to the educational standard that I've been trying, lately, to adhere to. So.....

The Tiger rattlesnake (Crotalus tigris) is a small (<1 meter) rattlesnake species that can be found in most of the mountains in Central and South-central Arizona, with another population located in the extreme Southeastern portion of the state. Usually found after the Monsoon season, they are often referred to as the, "September snake." Research shows that their range, pre-Monsoon, may only be ten percent of what it is mid- and post-Monsoon. One study also shows that their dens are usually within 2 meters of the nearest vegetation (as well as the fact that I need to stop studying rattlesnakes and get a life :lol: ). Temperament is much like that of C. molossus ssp. and they usually show a tendency to take flight, rather than make a stand.

Their, "tiger-striped," pattern often leads them to be confused with the Speckled rattlesnake, a species that they occasionally share habitat with. But you'll probably notice the small head and large rattle of the snake in these photos, and those are, in fact, identifying characteristics of this species. That, in conjunction with the fact that specks have a more average-sized head (for a buzzworm) and black and white tail banding, makes identification a bit easier than it might initially seem. They come in many colors, usually some variation of blue, tan, gray, red, pink, or peach, but as I stated in my first post, they usually show hints of pink or peach near the ventral portion of their body.

They prefer rocky terrain, and can often be found in rocky washes. But they also inhabit rocky bajadas and hillsides, sandy washes, rock slides, and crevices, largely depending on the time of year. I've had arguments over their exact toxicity in the past, so I will just say that they are extremely venomous, despite their small venom yield, and should not be taken lightly. Their mostly neurotoxic venom consists of Mohave toxins, as well as some new neurotoxins that are still being studied, in order to gain a better understanding of their composition. Their highly toxic venom and small head are thought to be adaptations designed to aid them in hunting their favorite prey (lizards and small rodents) in the small holes and crevices that they inhabit. I'm not sure what to make of that, though, as I often see them sitting in ambush positions, so somebody may have dropped the ball on that one...

Well, now that my friend has been properly introduced, I will shut my big mouth and show you the handsome fellow that I photographed this afternoon. You may notice that he is under a dead (Palo Verde) tree. He was found in the middle of an area which was ravaged by a wildfire last summer. I'm very happy to see that a few determined animals pulled through.

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Well, that's the only interesting thing that I've got to show you for now. Sorry I didn't find any more eye candy. I'll post again when I do. Happy herping, guys. Keep your eye on the sharp end. :smt006
" a squat, scaly worm with, 'don't touch,' on one end and, 'that's why,' on the other."

-Thomas Palmer
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Re: An interesting Tiger rattlesnake

Postby Westley Price » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:39 pm

I'm an avid hiker and I would SERIOUSLY cr@p myself if I were walking, only to meet a Rattler in the position illustrated above; in striking pose with rattle straight up in the air, haha!

The first and second pics are great, showing a bit of the habitat together with the snake. Was it in-situ or did you set up the shot?

BTW, longest tongue of any snake I've seen, haha.
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Re: An interesting Tiger rattlesnake

Postby croteseeker » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:07 pm

Thank you, Westley.

I always try my best to get in situ shots, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. This guy was definitely one of the latter. He backed up against that tree and gave us some pretty good shots, though, so I can't be too upset. :lol:
" a squat, scaly worm with, 'don't touch,' on one end and, 'that's why,' on the other."

-Thomas Palmer
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