South American Rattlesnake

South American Rattlesnake

Tropical rattlesnake, Neotropical rattlesnake, Guiana rattlesnake. In Spanish: víbora de cascabel, cascabel, cascabela. In Portuguese: cascavel. In Suriname: Sakasneki

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Crotalus durissus
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
15 yrs
LENGTH
1.5 m

The South American rattlesnake is a large highly venomous pit viper species found in South America. The color and pattern of its body are quite variable. The head has a dark brown bar at the top, with a dark post-orbital band. The color of the belly varies, it can be white or yellowish, with light gray spots, becoming darker towards the tail. The tail is usually gray, with dark and vague crossed bands.

Distribution

South American rattlesnakes are found in South America except for the Andes Mountains. They occur in Colombia and eastern Brazil to southeastern Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and northern Argentina (Catamarca, Córdoba, Corrientes, Chaco, Entre Rios, Formosa, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Misiones, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero, and Tucumán). They also occur on some islands in the Caribbean, including Morro de la Iguana, Tamarindo, and Aruba. These snakes can live in a wide range of habitats, however, they prefer savanna, grasslands, shrubland, and semi-arid zones. They can also be found and in the drier, sandier areas, and sometimes occur in forests.

South American Rattlesnake habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

South American rattlesnakes are solitary and prefer to live on their own. They are more active at dusk and in the early hours of the morning. Although very dangerous they are not aggressive towards humans; when feeling threatened the snake will raise its head and front one-third of the body, in a vertical loop in the shape of '' S ''.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

South American rattlesnakes are carnivores. They feed mainly on rodents, possibly due to the greater abundance and availability of these prey and lizards.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
fall
BABY CARRYING
4-14 young
FEMALE NAME
female
MALE NAME
male
BABY NAME
snakelet

South American rattlesnakes are seasonal breeders with the males competing for the female. They mate in the fall and give birth to their young in the summer. Females are ovoviviparous, meaning that they carry the eggs inside their bodies and give birth to live young. They usually produce 4-8 snakelets but are capable of giving birth to up to 14 young.

Population

Population threats

There are no major threats to South American rattlesnakes at present.

Population number

The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the South American rattlesnake total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.

References

1. South American Rattlesnake on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crotalus_durissus
2. South American Rattlesnake on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/178477/7554740

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