Rattlesnake ID

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occidentalis
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Rattlesnake ID

Post by occidentalis » October 4th, 2015, 8:50 am

This one was taken in Coyote Gulch, about 1.5 km west of the Escalante. Any expert opinions?

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DallasJolly123
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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by DallasJolly123 » October 4th, 2015, 9:38 am

from the looks of the snake and the info I would say Midget Faded Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus concolor).
Great Basin Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus lutosus) is my second guess.

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Rancorrye
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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Rancorrye » October 4th, 2015, 2:24 pm

abyssus

Jimi
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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Jimi » October 5th, 2015, 7:57 am

My opinion is also "abyssus". Which look a lot like lutosus (an exceedingly variable animal), and which are so genetically similar to lutosus it's questionable they even deserve their own name. But I invite a digression...let's not go there.

Too bad reality in that area is so poorly documented. The animal in question might well be a concolor. That river is the centerline of an area where it isn't documented whether there's 0, 1, 2, or 3 (add viridis) rattlesnake taxa present. Zero makes no sense when discussing this photo, but this area, especially the east side, has had very little sampling - large areas have no documented rattlesnake observations. But huge expanses of the area are hard to access (few trails let alone roads, exceedingly rough country, little or no water), and even if you get there, you can search it pretty hard on foot and come up with nothing.

Congrats on your find (is there a story to go along with the pic?) Please enter it into the database, with as much metadata as you collected or can reconstruct.

thanks
Jimi

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Jeremy Westerman
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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Jeremy Westerman » October 5th, 2015, 3:18 pm

yeah I say abyssus in the Paria/Coyote Gulch area too, but is there a gradation with Great Basin lutosus to the West in Zion? Or is there no contact with abyssus and lutosus anywhere on the Colorado Plateau in Utah? Kodachrome Basin area perhaps? Boulder area? Or contact with abyssus and concolor, Capitol Reef perhaps?
North Rim of the Grand Canyon is an obvious contact zone between abyssus and lutosus, stands to reason that extends North somewhat into Utah...

Also everything East of longitude 111° W was long considered Midget Faded (concolor) on the Colorado Plateau (West of Lake Powell of course, there are ,midget faded, prairies and hopis East of Lake Powell and 111° W) and everything West of Longitude 111° W was G.B. (lutosus) for many years (including most of the literature) so those snakes would have been labelled Great Basin by default.
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Brian Eagar
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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Brian Eagar » October 6th, 2015, 1:58 am

I learned a long time ago that snakes and lizards can't read maps and all the historical range maps were oversimplified and didn't take actual habitat preferences and gaps and pockets into consideration at all.
I agree it is probably abyssus and a great find. I've wondered what rattlesnakes might live in that area. I doubt concolor are over there but those abyssus definitely bump into lutosus to the west and north and perhaps viridis and concolor further east.
I used to think the Colorado river posed a barrier for some of these rattlesnakes but i now think there is much more to the habitat boundaries than the river at play.

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occidentalis
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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by occidentalis » October 6th, 2015, 6:35 am

Sounds like C. o. abyssus is the favored ID. Thanks, folks! And to clarify, Coyote Gulch is quite a bit north of the Paria drainage.

Brian Eagar
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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Brian Eagar » October 6th, 2015, 9:41 am

occidentalis wrote:Sounds like C. o. abyssus is the favored ID. Thanks, folks! And to clarify, Coyote Gulch is quite a bit north of the Paria drainage.
yep I know right where that is and I don't believe they are limited to the PaRia drainage by any means. maybe grand staircase rattlesnake would be a better name.

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Brendan
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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by Brendan » January 27th, 2016, 3:29 pm

A little late to the party but looks abyssus to me as well.

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occidentalis
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Re: Rattlesnake ID

Post by occidentalis » January 30th, 2016, 2:59 pm

Brendan wrote:A little late to the party but looks abyssus to me as well.
I'm thankful for the shared opinions of experienced folk.

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