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reptiles

Mexican Lance-Headed Rattlesnake

Crotalus polystictus

Shake, Rattle, and Hiss

The Mexican lance-headed rattlesnake or lance-headed rattlesnake is a venomous pit viper species found in central Mexico. No subspecies is currently recognized.

About the Species

The distinctive buzz of a rattlesnake is a highly effective predator-avoidance system. The rattle comes from a series of interlocking keratin rings that create a hissing sound when vibrated. Another ring is added to the rattle each time the snake sheds its skin.

Most snakes give a warning before they bite, although they may strike quickly if they are startled. When out walking in heavy brush or rocky areas, watch where you step or put your hands.

Words From the Experts

Quotes

In their natural habitat, these snakes live at high elevations ranging from 4,750 to 8,500 feet.

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Did You Know?

This species is part of the AZA's Species Survival Plan (SSP).

Facts

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Origin

Mexico

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Habitat

Mesquite, grassland, and scrubland environments

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Size

24 to 31 inches in length

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Diet

Amphibians, reptiles, insects, and small mammals

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Predators

Birds, lizards, and larger snakes

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Natural Defenses

Venom

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Reproduction

Around 4 live young at a time

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Status

Least Concern

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Life Expectancy

Up to 6 years

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