Crotalus pricei

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Crotalus pricei
Crotalus pricei.jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Genus: Crotalus
Species:C. pricei
Binomial name
Crotalus pricei
Crotalus pricei distribution.png
Common names: twin-spotted rattlesnake, [3] western twin-spotted rattlesnake, [4] more

Crotalus pricei is a venomous pit viper species found in the United States and Mexico. Currently, two subspecies are recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here. [5]

Venomous snakes are species of the suborder Serpentes that are capable of producing venom, which they use for killing prey, for defense, and to assist with digestion of their prey. The venom is typically delivered by injection using hollow or grooved fangs, although some venomous snakes lack well-developed fangs. Common venomous snakes include the families Elapidae, Viperidae, Atractaspididae, and some of the Colubridae. The toxicity of venom is mainly indicated by murine LD50, while multiple factors are considered to judge the potential danger to humans. Other important factors for risk assessment include the likelihood that a snake will bite, the quantity of venom delivered with the bite, the efficiency of the delivery mechanism, and the location of a bite on the body of the victim. Snake venom may have both neurotoxic and hemotoxic properties.

In biology, a species ( ) is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, morphology, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined. While these definitions may seem adequate, when looked at more closely they represent problematic species concepts. For example, the boundaries between closely related species become unclear with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, and in a ring species. Also, among organisms that reproduce only asexually, the concept of a reproductive species breaks down, and each clone is potentially a microspecies.

Subspecies taxonomic rank subordinate to species

In biological classification, the term subspecies refers to a unity of populations of a species living in a subdivision of the species' global range and varies from other populations of the same species by morphological characteristics. A subspecies cannot be recognized independently. A species is either recognized as having no subspecies at all or at least two, including any that are extinct. The term is abbreviated subsp. in botany and bacteriology, or ssp. in zoology. The plural is the same as the singular: subspecies.



The specific name, pricei, is in honor of William Wightman "Billy" Price (1871–1922), a field biologist, who collected the first specimens which became the type series. [6] [7] [8]

In zoological nomenclature, the specific name is the second part within the scientific name of a species. The first part of the name of a species is the name of the genus or the generic name. The rules and regulations governing the giving of a new species name are explained in the article species description.

Biologist scientist studying living organisms

A biologist is a scientist who has specialized knowledge in the field of biology, the scientific study of life. Biologists involved in fundamental research attempt to explore and further explain the underlying mechanisms that govern the functioning of living matter. Biologists involved in applied research attempt to develop or improve more specific processes and understanding, in fields such as medicine and industry.


Adults usually do not exceed 50–60 cm (about 20–24 in) in total length (including tail). The maximum total length recorded is 66 cm (26 in). [3]

The color pattern consists of a gray, bluish-gray, brownish-gray, or medium- to reddish-brown ground color, usually with a fine brown speckling. This is overlaid with a series of dorsal blotches that tend to be divided down the median line to form 39-64 pairs. [3]

Common names

Its common names are twin-spotted rattlesnake, [3] western twin-spotted rattlesnake, [4] Price's rattlesnake, Arizona spotted rattlesnake, spotted rattlesnake, [9] and Arizona twin-spotted rattlesnake. [10]

Geographic range

This snake is found in the United States in southeastern Arizona. In northern Mexico, it occurs in the Sierra Madre Occidental in Sonora, Chihuahua, and Durango. It has also been found in the Sierra Madre Oriental in southeastern Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas, with isolated records in San Luis Potosí and Aguascalientes. The type locality given is "Huachua Mts., Arizona" (Cochise County, Arizona, United States). [2]

Arizona state of the United States of America

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.

Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range

The Sierra Madre Occidental is a major mountain range system of the North American Cordillera, that runs northwest–southeast through northwestern and western Mexico, and along the Gulf of California. The Sierra Madre is part of the American Cordillera, a chain of mountain ranges (cordillera) that consists of an almost continuous sequence of mountain ranges that form the western 'backbone' of North America, Central America, South America and West Antarctica.

Sonora State of Mexico

Sonora, officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora, is one of 31 states that, with Mexico City, comprise the 32 federal entities of United Mexican States. It is divided into 72 municipalities; the capital city is Hermosillo. Sonora is bordered by the states of Chihuahua to the east, Baja California to the northwest and Sinaloa to the south. To the north, it shares the U.S.–Mexico border with the states of Arizona and New Mexico, and on the west has a significant share of the coastline of the Gulf of California.

Conservation status

This species is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (v3.1, 2001). [1] Species are listed as such due to their wide distribution, presumed large population, or because they are unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. The population trend was stable when assessed in 2007. [11]


Subspecies [5] Taxon author [5] Common name [4] Geographic range [2]
C. p. miquihuanus Gloyd, 1940Eastern twin-spotted rattlesnakeMexico: southeastern Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas
C. p. pricei Van Denburgh, 1895Western twin-spotted rattlesnakeUnited States: southeastern Arizona, Mexico: Sonora, Chihuahua and Durango

See also

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  1. 1 2 Hammerson, G.A.; Vazquez Díaz, J. & Quintero Díaz, G.E. (2007). "Crotalus pricei". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2007. International Union for Conservation of Nature . Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré TA (1999). Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, District of Columbia: Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN   1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN   1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  3. 1 2 3 4 Campbell JA, Lamar WW (2004). The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere. Ithaca and London: Comstock Publishing Associates. 870 pp., 1500 plates. ISBN   0-8014-4141-2.
  4. 1 2 3 Klauber LM (1997). Rattlesnakes: Their Habitats, Life Histories, and Influence on Mankind. Second Edition. First published in 1956. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN   0-520-21056-5.
  5. 1 2 3 "Crotalus pricei ". Integrated Taxonomic Information System . Retrieved 1 August 2007.
  6. Moll, Edward O (2003). "Patronyms of the Pioneer West, V. Crotalus pricei Van Denburgh, 1895 – Twin-spotted rattlesnake". Sonoran Herpetologist. 16 (12): 110–112.
  7. Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN   978-1-4214-0135-5. (Crotalus pricei, p. 211).
  8. Fisher, Walter K. (March 1923). "William Wightman Price" (PDF). The Condor. 25: 50–57. doi:10.2307/1362900.
  9. Wright AH, Wright AA (1957). Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. (7th printing, 1985). Ithaca and London: Comstock Publishing Associates. 1,105 pp. (in 2 volumes). ISBN   0-8014-0463-0.
  10. Brown JH (1973). Toxicology and Pharmacology of Venoms from Poisonous Snakes. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas. 184 pp. LCCCN 73-229. ISBN   0-398-02808-7.
  11. 2001 Categories & Criteria (version 3.1) at the IUCN Red List . Accessed 13 September 2007.

Further reading