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Crotalus lepidus klauberi

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Subordo: Serpentes
Infraordo: Caenophidia
Superfamilia: Viperoidea

Familia: Viperidae
Subfamilia: Crotalinae
Genus: Crotalus
Species: Crotalus lepidus
Subspecies: Crotalus lepidus klauberi

Crotalus lepidus klauberi Gloyd, 1936: 2

Holotype: UMMZ 79895, adult ♂.

Type locality: “Carr Canyon, Huachuca Mountains, Cochise County, Arizona”.
Primary references

Gloyd, H.K. 1936. The subspecies of Crotalus lepidus. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 337: 1–5. handle.


Uetz, P. & Hallermann, J. 2022. Crotalus lepidus. The Reptile Database. Accessed on 2 May 2018.

Vernacular names
English: Banded Rock Rattlesnake

Crotalus lepidus klauberi is a venomous pitviper subspecies[4] endemic to the southwestern United States and adjacent northern Mexico.

Geographic range

In the United States C. l. klauberi is found in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

In Mexico it is found in the Mexican states of Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Jalisco, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Sonora, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas.

The specific name or epithet, klauberi, is in honor of American herpetologist and rattlesnake expert Laurence M. Klauber.[5]
Crotalus lepidus klauberi

Adults rarely grow to more than 24 inches (610 mm) in length. The color pattern is typically a light grey with darker grey banding that varies greatly from habitat to habitat. The background color may be green to purple in some locations. Those found in the Franklin Mountain range of El Paso County in Texas are unique, having a striking pearl silver background and well defined black crossbands.

The characters used to distinguish the various subspecies have been a point of contention for many years. Various sources have used scale counts, number of bands, the stripe along the eye region and the amount of mottling between bands as methods to tell them apart. Unfortunately, research has shown that there are always exceptions. It is generally accepted, however, that C. l. klauberi lacks mottling between the darker bands, even though this is not an entirely reliable method. It is not known whether the subspecies intergrade in the areas where their ranges overlap.
Common names

Banded rock rattlesnake,[2] blue rattlesnake, green rattlesnake, green rock rattlesnake, rock rattlesnake.[3]

These are nocturnal, secretive snakes. They spend most of their time hiding in rock crevices. Often found in canyons, scree slopes, or man-made road cuts. Research has shown that they do not typically travel far, and often spend their entire lives on one particular slope or ridge. Their diet consists of primarily lizards and rodents. They are quite shy snakes, often not even rattling if approached, relying instead on their camouflage to blend into the rocky habitat. They are most likely to be seen after a summer afternoon thunderstorm, or rain shower, when they come out to bask and search for food.

In contrast to the shyness described above, Banded Rock Rattlesnake specimens found high (>7000 ft) in the Organ Mountains of southern New Mexico are usually highly confident and defensive, rattling incessantly at the mere sight of humans. One often has to search carefully for the source of the rattling, because they are indeed expert at hiding themselves in small caves and cracks in rocky terrain.

Ovoviviparous, with females giving birth to 2-8 young in the spring. Mating occurs in the summer months, after which gravid females hibernate during the winter months.

McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, District of Columbia: Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
Behler JL, King FW. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 743 pp. LCCCN 79-2217. ISBN 0-394-50824-6. (Crotalus lepidus klauberi, p. 689 + Plate 640).
Wright AH, Wright AA. 1957. Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. Ithaca and London: Comstock Publishing Associates. (7th printing, 1985). 1,105 pp (in 2 volumes). ISBN 0-8014-0463-0. (Crotalus lepidus klauberi, pp. 969-973, Figure 277, Map 68).
"Crotalus lepidus klauberi". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 16 May 2007.

Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Crotalus lepidus klauberi, p. 143).

Further reading

Klauber LM. 1997. Rattlesnakes: Their Habitats, Life Histories, and Influence on Mankind. Second Edition. 2 volumes. Reprint. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-21056-5.


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