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Ecology and behavior of the Midget Faded Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus concolor) in Wyoming

Journal of Herpetology

By:
and
DOI: 10.1670/0022-1511(2007)41[41:EABOTM]2.0.CO;2

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Abstract

We conducted a three-year study to describe the ecology and behavior of the Midget Faded Rattlesnake, Crotalus organus concolor. We encountered 426 and telemetered 50 C. o. concolor between 2000 and 2002. We found that their primary diet was lizards (associated with rock outcrops), though they will consume small mammals and birds. They den in aggregations, although in low numbers when compared to other subspecies. Movements and activity ranges were among the largest reported for rattlesnakes. Minimum convex polygon area was 117.8 ha for males, 63.9 ha for nongravid females, and 4.8 ha for gravid females. Mean distances traveled per year were 2122.0 m for males, 1956.0 m for nongravid females, and 296.7 m for gravid and postpartum females. Following emergence from hibernation, they spent several weeks shedding, often in aggregations before migration, and migrations occurred in early summer. Most snakes made straight-line movements to and from discrete summer activity ranges where short, multidirectional movements ensued, although others made multidirectional movements throughout the active season. We observed mating behavior between 21 July and 12 August. Gravid females gave birth during the third week of August. Mean clutch size was 4.17 (range 2-7). We found that the sex ratio was skewed favoring females 1:1.24, and they were sexually dimorphic in size (males SVL = 44.1 cm; females SVL = 40.8 cm). Our data further illustrate the diversity within the large group of Western Rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis). Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Ecology and behavior of the Midget Faded Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus concolor) in Wyoming
Series title:
Journal of Herpetology
DOI:
10.1670/0022-1511(2007)41[41:EABOTM]2.0.CO;2
Volume
41
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2007
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Herpetology
First page:
41
Last page:
51
Number of Pages:
11