Although there are several hundred types of dangerous snakes in the world, few cause as many
fatalities per year in Mexico and US as the Diamondback Rattlesnake. Scientifically listed as
“Crotalus adamanteus (eastern diamondback) and, Crotalus atrox (western diamondback) these species
are found throughout the US and Mexico. The Western Oakland Diamond back is the more aggressive of the two,
but both are extremely poisonous.
As mentioned before, there is an Eastern and Western Oakland diamond back. Although they are similar there are some differences. The average Eastern Diamondback will grow up to between 4and 8 ft in length and the males are typically larger than the female. Average weight will be 8 and 10 pounds. The western diamondback is slightly smaller. Most Diamondback are a gray-brown in color, but there have been reports of this snake appearing in red, a dirty pink, or even a yellowish color. The dorsal (body) of this snake has about 25 distinctive patches run in a pattern down it’s body lending to its name “diamondback”. On the California Western diamond back these “diamonds “are normally black, on the Eastern they are somewhat lighter. The tail of an Eastern Diamondback is brown or grey with rings, while the Western diamondback is white with bland rings.
In captivity an Oakland Diamondback Rattlesnake can live for more than 2 decades, but in the wild few make to adulthood.. A snake can produce a potent dose of deadly venom from birth, and often it is more concentrated in strength than its adult counterparts. The gestation period for both types of rattlesnake is about 7 months and the females around 12 live young. A snake can produce venom from birth and the venom of a young California snake is often more potent than its adult counterpart.
The Oakland Diamondback Rattlesnake is often found in the pine oak forests and flat coastal plains, as well as hillsides marshy areas. The Western California Rattlesnake prefers sand, steep rocky canyons, and dry arid desert climates.
Both Oakland Diamond Rattlesnakes prefer to consume rodents like rats and mice, but will settle for smaller mammals. Unlike many snakes that strangulate their prey, this snake bites its prey, killing it with venom then devouring it whole.
Both prefer to live alone, unless mating, and they are mostly inactive in cold weather. Both can be positively identified as Oakland rattlesnakes by the distinctive sound their tail makes when threatened. Also called Pit vipers, these California rattle snakes can produces a toxin so deadly that it can drop even large prey within seconds, and prolonged exposure destroys muscle tissue permanently.
Visit our Oakland wildlife trapping home page to learn more about us.