Snake Count is almost here! This week we countdown to Snake Count with a post each day featuring a snake we found during last spring’s Snake Count. We hope you’ll join us at Muleshoe for Snake Count, but if you can’t, find a way to participate in your area by clicking on the graphic below.
I’m going to start with Arizona black rattlesnakes (Crotalus cerberus), because even among rattlesnakes they’re extra cool. In case you missed it, our SocialSnakes blog featured a special post for Mother’s Day all about parental care in Arizona blacks.
Rattlesnakes take care of their kids? You bet they do and not just Arizona black rattlesnakes. But we have lots of stories, photos, and videos of Arizona black rattlesnake families, so check them out.
Arizona black rattlesnakes are highly social snakes, which is another topic covered extensively at SocialSnakes. But in brief, they often den in groups and within these groups have friends (snake they preferentially associate with) and enemies (snakes they avoid).
If those behaviors aren’t enough for ya, Arizona black rattlesnakes also change color. While lizards are more famous for their color-changing abilities, a handful of snakes can dramatically shift their color too. It is fairly common for young snakes to look completely different than adults (ontogenetic color change).
But, Arizona black rattlesnakes can also rapidly change their color (physiological color change) from black to light gray within minutes.
Watch carefully and see Boyett change color in this timelapse video:
I’ll end with Cat edhibiting another characteristic Arizona black rattlesnake behavior: looking absolutely gorgeous.