Posted by: cherylyoung | August 16, 2012

Yes we have Rattlesnakes, and this is about the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake



Scientific name: Crotalus oreganus oreganus     

                 PDF version of this page 


The Northern Pacific Rattlesnake is a stout snake,

distinguished from all other B.C. snakes by 3

features; a rattle on the end of its tail, a very

 distinct neck, and a broad, triangular head. 

 Even their faces are unique – rattlesnakes have

fairly large eyes with vertical pupils, a long, dark

cheek patch, and they have deep pits between

their nostrils and their eyes that contain

 heat-sensing cells.  


 The only species of rattlesnake found in B.C., the

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, also is the only

truly venomous species in our province.


   Rattlesnakes have a series of dark blotches

 surrounded by a lighter-coloured halo running

down their backs. 

Towards the tail, the blotches occasionally become

 bands that circle the body. 


 This colouration is particularly bright and crisp

 on juveniles. 


  As they mature and reach their adult size of

between 60 cm and 1.5 m, the colours of their

heavily keeled scutes (ridged scales) become muted.


  Other species often are misidentified as

Rattlesnakes because Rattlesnake colouration is

somewhat similar to other blotched snakes.

The most commonly misidentified species are the

 Gopher Snake and the Western Terrestrial

(Wandering) Garter Snake. 


However, neither of these species have a rattle, nor

do they have vertical pupils.


 The Northern Pacific Rattlesnake generally is a

quiet, non-aggressive snake. 

 Their first response to potential danger is to stay

 quiet and camouflaged.  


Their second response is escape. 


 If cornered, however, rattlesnakes will rattle

 their tails vigorously while forming an aggressive

coil with the head raised and the neck in an ‘s’

shaped curve. 


Striking is a last resort, usually employed if

cornered by a persistent predator or occasionally

when suddenly stepped on (when the snake is

facing immediate physical injury).


 Click here to see a video clip of a rattling Rattlesnake.

 (8.2 MB file)


Click here to visit the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake Photo Gallery.


Today is exactly one year since I started this blog.

In that time we have had approximately 75,000

visitors to the site. 


 I have had some very encouraging remarks and

I hope that I have been about to show you thing

about this remarkabe province that you did not know.


I inivte you to visit and if you are like me, you’ll

never want to go home again.





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