The Arizona Ridgenosed Rattlesnake
No Deadly Bites

The Arizona Ridgenosed Rattlesnake is a very shy snake found in the pines and oak elevations in Arizona above 4,500 feet. However they have been found in much lower elevations of late but are not plentiful in those locations.

This rattlesnake is timid and will normally turn and hide before it is ever perceived. It matches the forest leaf cover and is very hard to find. It does not warn you with its tail rattling, it prefers to get out of sight.

If you find one, and trap it, the snake will quickly turn and try to bite. This rattlesnake has a poison that is not very deadly to humans. No deaths have been reported from the Ridgenosed Rattler. It is a pit viper and as its name suggests it has a nose that is turned upward at the end and ridges to the side of its head.

These are beautiful animals and are protected by State and Federal Law. If you see one observe it but otherwise, leave it alone. Its bite and venom will usually put you in the hospital as a precaution.

There are of course, several other types of Rattlesnakes in Arizona. Many like the Diamondback and the Sidewinder are very dangerous to humans. These snakes ussually appear in the spring as they come out of their so called "Hibernation". Most snakes do not hibernate for months like a bear. The just slow down when it gets cold.

Some people will encounter snakes in the winter in Arizona and will get bitten. Another dangerous time of year for encountering rattlesnakes is when the weather first starts to get hot. The snake population will seek water. Always check your pools, sprinkler beds and Tree wells. Snakes love wood piles and tall grass.

It is very rare to have a snake bite anyone. They do not like humans and most humans will never know they have been near a rattler. However, gopher snakes (or bull snakes) are very common and are seen throughout Arizona. They will mimick a rattlesnake by shaking it's tail and hissing making the exact sound of a rattler. It is amazing to see and hear. They are virtually harmless. We have caught several here at NewPort Arizona.

One other snake bite of information. Rattlers today are rarely seen unless you know how to look for them. At one time they were so plentiful that the State of Arizona and farmers bought thousands of California King Snakes. They are natural enemies and both are very territorial. The California King snake is impervious to the rattler venom and will kill all types of rattlers if they are confronted by one. Some feel the rattler population was diminished by the introduction of the California King snake. It is probably not a significant factor in populations of rattlers.

Even though they are rare to find anywhere. Keep and eye out for the rattlers. The only other venomous snake we have in Arizona is a coral snake. But, they are even more rare to find.

If you ever get bitten by any type of snake, always get the wound looked at by medical professionals. Sometimes a snake could eat a rodent and then bite you and pass on bacterial infections which can be worse than a poisonous bite.

If you happen to find a snake try to get a picture and we will post it. Only if it is from Arizona.

Snakes are little things we deal with in the high deserts, low deserts and the mountains in Arizona.

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