Van Denburgh & Slevin, 1921
This species is smaller than its close relative, C. atrox, with large males not growing to much more than 100 cm (39 in) in length. The largest specimen on record is 105.8 centimetres (41.7 in) (Klauber, 1972). Compared to C. atrox, the head is shorter relative to the length of the body—a trait considered to be an indication of dwarfing, which is common in island populations.
The color pattern consists of a gray to gray-brown ground color, occasionally with a slight purplish or pinkish hue, overlaid dorsally with a series of 32-41 dark brown to purplish-brown blotches running down the length of the body. The blotches are hexagonal or diamond-shaped, marked with black spots, and bordered with irregular black mottling.
It lives in barren, rocky, desert terrain, sparsely covered with brush and cacti.
This species is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (v3.1, 2001). Species are listed as such due to their wide distribution, presumed large population, or because they are unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. The population trend was stable when assessed in 2007.
Its diet apparently consists of mice. Several specimens from the island are reported to have contained mammal hair, and a white-footed mouse, Peromyscus dickeyi, is common on the island.
- List of crotaline species and subspecies
- Crotalus by common name
- Crotalus by taxonomic synonyms
- Crotalinae by common name
- Crotalinae by taxonomic synonyms
- McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
- Campbell JA, Lamar WW. 2004. The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere. Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca and London. 870 pp. 1500 plates. ISBN 0-8014-4141-2.
- Klauber LM. 1956. Rattlesnakes: Their Habitats, Life Histories, and Influence on Mankind. Second Edition, 1997. [First published in 1956, 1972.] University of California Press, Berkeley. ISBN 0-520-21056-5.
- Crotalus tortugensis at Rattlesnakes. Accessed 23 March 2007.
- "Crotalus tortugensis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 23 April 2007.
- Crotalus tortugensis at the IUCN Red List. Accessed 13 September 2007.
- 2001 Categories & Criteria (version 3.1) at the IUCN Red List. Accessed 13 September 2007.
- Crotalus tortugensis at San Diego Natural History Museum. Accessed 23 April 2007.
- Van Denburgh, J. and J.R. Slevin. 1921. Preliminary diagnoses of more new Species of Reptiles from Islands in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Proc. California Acad. Sci., Fourth Series, Volume 11, pp. 395–398.
- Crotalus atrox at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database. Accessed 12 December 2007.
- Crotalus tortugensis, incl. brief info and picture, at San Diego Natural History Museum. Accessed 23 April 2007.