Southern Pacific Rattlesnake

Crotalus oreganus helleri

Photo Credit: Amanda Sparkman

Audio Credit:: Thomas Everest

While rattlesnakes are relatively common in wild habitats in Southern California, they are sighted only once every few years on campus--typically juveniles just passing through. These shy animals are extremely reluctant to engage humans, and are kind enough to warn you with their rattle if you get uncomfortably close.  If you leave them alone, they are more than happy to leave you alone!  Take care not to confuse juvenile gopher snakes with rattlesnakes, even if they do flatten their heads and rattle their tapering tails--even little rattlesnakes still have rattles, and are shorter and chunkier than any gopher snake!