Crotalus oreganus abyssus

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Crotalus oreganus abyssus
Grand Canyon pink rattlesnake.jpg
Grand Canyon rattlensnake
Havasu Canyon, Arizona
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Genus: Crotalus
Species: C. oreganus
Subspecies: C. o. abyssus
Trinomial name
Crotalus oreganus abyssus
Klauber, 1930
  • Crotalus confluentus abyssus Klauber, 1930
  • Crotalus viridis abyssus
    – Klauber, 1936[1]
  • Crotalus oreganus abyssus
    – Ashton & de Queiroz, 2001[2]
Common names: Grand Canyon rattlesnake,[3] canyon bleached rattlesnake.[4]

Crotalus oreganus abyssus is a venomous pit viper subspecies[3] found only in the U.S. state of Arizona.


This is a medium to large rattlesnake. Adults measure 16-54 inches (41–137 cm) in total length.

Dorsally, they have dark blotches on a variety of base colors ranging from reddish, pink, yellow/green, light tan, to gray. The blotches usually become crossbands near the tail. The young usually have more prominent blotches and facial markings than the adults. Some adults have no body markings.

The rostral scale usually comes into contact with more than 2 internasal scales.

Geographic range[edit]

Found in northwestern and north-central Arizona.


The snake is found in a variety of habitats, including grassland, Great Basin Desert scrubland, bottoms in the Grand Canyon, rolling hills and bajadas in pinion-juniper woodland, and pine forests.


It is primarily diurnal but can be active around the clock when conditions are favorable. The cryptic coloration and calm demeanor of this subspecies often allows it to escape detection from passersby.


It feeds on squirrels, mice, lizards, and birds.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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).
  2. ^ Ashton KG, de Queiroz A. 2001. Molecular systematics of the western rattlesnake, Crotalus viridis (Viperidae), with comments on the utility of the d-loop in phylogenetic studies of snakes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Vol. 21, No.2, pp. 176-189. PDF at CNAH. Accessed 3 September 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Crotalus oreganus abyssus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 28 November 2006. 
  4. ^ Wright AH, Wright AA. 1957. Handbook of Snakes. Comstock Publishing Associates. (7th printing, 1985). 1105 pp. ISBN 0-8014-0463-0.

Further reading[edit]

  • Klauber, L.M. 1930. New and Renamed Subspecies of Crotalus confluentus Say, with Remarks on Related Species. Trans. San Diego Soc. Nat. Hist.
    6 (3): 95-144, including Plates 9-12, 1 map. ("Crotalus confluentus abyssus, subsp. nov.", pp. 114–117 + Plate 11, figure 1.)

External links[edit]