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Here’s what a rattlesnake looks like

By Gary Bogue
Friday, June 13th, 2008 at 6:58 am in Rattlesnake.


Ever wondered what a rattlesnake looks like?

Check out these close-ups of a common local Northern Pacific rattlesnake that were photographed on Mount Diablo by Brian Murphy of Walnut Creek, California. Click on each photo to read more information about the snake in the picture. Then click the return arrow to return to this blog.


There have been a lot of reports of rattlesnakes being spotted in local backyards. The recent hot weather has probably caused them to move around looking for water.

western rattlesnake1

We have a lot of different local species of snakes in the Bay Area. Gopher snakes, king snakes, garter snakes, ring-neck snakes, sharp-tail snakes, Western racers, striped racers … but the only poisonous local snake is the Northern Pacific rattlesnake.

western rattlesnake

That’s why it’s important for you to know what they look like. /Gary


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6 Responses to “Here’s what a rattlesnake looks like”

  1. Karen Says:

    Thanks for the excellent photos. It would be great if you could publish some advice for people who do find rattlesnakes in their yard, and have some compelling reason to remove them (children, pets, etc.)

    When I was growing up, we had one incident of a rattlesnake in the garden, a fairly small specimen. My dad grabbed a large shovel, scooped up the coiled snake, and tossed it into a nearby field, so he could continue weeding the bed where it had been laying. I have no idea how dangerous an action that was, but it worked.

    (Poisonous or no, Dad held that any critter that might be eating gophers was a friend. Dad had been fighting the gophers for many years, had killed all the stupid ones, and was effectively breeding a super-race of ultra-intelligent, master trap-avoiders.)

  2. Mike "troll" Dame Says:

    aww when i saw this i really hoped Brian had a pic of the green and red (dull not bright) color faze on here, a couple years ago i ran across one of those along the black diamond trail in Clayton next to the golf course absolutely beautiful specimen.

    “… but the only poisonous local snake is the Northern Pacific rattlesnake.”

    umm what about the California Night Snake (photos taken in Round Valley)
    now i know their venom poses no threat to humans but it is a local venomous snake too;)

  3. Gary Says:

    I was referring to the only “dangerously” poisonous local snakes, which of course, are rattlesnakes. The little spotted night snake (Hypsiglena) is as you know a rear-fanged snake, and not considered harmful to humans, as is the tiny black-headed snake (Tantilla). I caught one of those little guys, smaller that a ringneck snake, many years ago in Tilden Regional Park. Remind me to tell you sometime about when I was in high school and traded a pet king snake for a funny-looking green and black thing from another herp collector. Would you believe, a boomslang? /Gary

  4. Ushud Nobetar Says:

    There are no poisonous snakes on this planet. If you meant venomous, then the Northern Pacific is not California’s only one.

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  6. Kylie Crane Says:

    This is a exelent teach

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