Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake

The Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake is orange-brown with distinctive facial markings, while the New Mexico subspecies lacks facial markings and is grayish. Both have upturned snout scales and use tail coloration for prey attraction.

  • Common Name:

    Ridge-nosed rattlesnake

  • Scientific Name:

    Crotalus willardi

  • Conservation Status:

    Not Evaluated

  • Size:

    Up to 28 in. long

  • Where to See:

    Central Mexico through the southwestern United States, including Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California


Adult ridge-nosed rattlesnakes consume small mammals, birds and lizards, while juveniles focus on lizards and giant centipedes. Their weakly toxic venom poses a low threat. Mating occurs in July through August and two to nine offspring are born the following year in the same period. The New Mexico subspecies is federally listed under the Endangered Species Act, and the Arizona subspecies is also protected.

Official State Reptile

The Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake is the official state reptile of Arizona. Learn about the diversity of snakes in the state in A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles in Arizona, Second Edition. The book, published by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, is a must-have resource for identifying and learning about the state’s herpetofauna.

Our Mission

To conserve Arizona’s diverse wildlife resources and manage for safe, compatible outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations.

Wildlife Viewing

See wildlife species in the wild.
The Wildlife Viewing Program is committed to achieving wildlife conservation by engaging the public in activities and with cams that increase awareness of and appreciation for wildlife garnering public support for the Department’s unique role in wildlife management. These practices ensure the continued existence of Arizona’s diverse wildlife and habitats by promoting sustainable viewing practices.

See more in the wildlife viewing section of the website

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