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Panamint Rattlesnake Description
Panamint Rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii stephensi)
[found in Las Vegas]
The Panamint Rattlesnake is similar to the Southwestern, but it has a more distinct pattern to its blotches along its back. The Panamint Rattlesnake is found in the extreme western and northwestern areas of Clark County.
Common names include panamint rattlesnake, panamint rattler, Owens Valley rattler, and tiger rattlesnake (not to be confused with C. tigris).
This species is characterized by the absence of the vertical light line on the posterior edge of the prenasal and first supralabial scales. The supraocular scales are pitted, sutured, or with the outer edges broken.
The color pattern consists of a straw, tan, buff, brown, or gray ground color, overlaid with a series of buff, gray, brown, or deep red-brown blotches. Often, gray suffusions occur on the sides of the body and head, and a scattering of black-tipped scales occur on the back, especially at the edges of the blotches.
Named in honor Frank Stephens, Curator Emeritus of The San Diego Society of Natural History and a member of the Death Valley Expedition which first collected this form nearly forty years ago.
Panamint Rattlesnake Range
C. stephensi is found in desert-mountain areas of the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada from Mono County, California, east to Nye County, Nevada, south through southwestern Nevada, southeast to Clark County, Nevada, and southwest to central San Bernardino County, California at 900 to 2,400 m (3,000 to 7,900 ft) altitude.
Panamint Rattlesnake Diet
The diet of C. stephensi consists of small mammals, lizards, and birds.
Panamint Rattlesnake Reproduction
C. stephensi is ovoviviparous, and the young are born in July and August.
Neonates are about 25 cm in total length.