Nicknamed the Mojave green, the Mohave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) is the most venomous snake found on the monument. The venom, potent in neurotoxins that attack the nervous system and hemotoxins that attack the blood should make this snake high on anyone's list to avoid.
Not to be confused with the Western rattlesnake, the Mojave rattlesnake has a greenish tinge that the Western rattlesnake lacks. The Mojave rattlesnake averages between 2-4 feet in length and are usually distributed between a wide variety of arid habitats. They show preference for the desert flatland with sparse vegetation including creosote bush, cacti, mesquite, and Joshua tree woodlands. During April through September the snake is most active throughout the night and during the cooler hours of twilight.
Mojave rattlesnakes use existing rodent burrows for brumation during the winter months. The snakes use this process to slow their metabolism. While they can go months without food, they do have to wake from brumation to drink water. While brumation can bring on a hearty appetite in the spring, food is not the only thing rattlesnakes are looking for. They are also looking for a mate. While rattlesnakes generally move away from threats, some males may become aggressive during this time and chase potential threats.
Female rattlesnakes produce eggs that hatch internally allowing rattlesnakes to be born live. The average brood consists of 2-11 young which are left to fend for themselves after birth. The newborn snakes lack a full rattle at the end of the tail. Instead they are born with a single silent button that will have an additional button added to it each time they shed their skin.
Last updated: July 31, 2019