New Mexico is home to numerous reptile species, including between 30 and 40 species of snake. Of these many snake species, eight are venomous, and of those, seven are types of rattlesnake. The varied natural habitats of the state and a warm climate make it an ideal home for cold-blooded creatures like snakes and other reptiles.
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
The western diamondback is a stout-bodied snake that grows to around 5 feet in length. It ranges from yellowish-gray to pale blue in color with darker mottled, diamond-shaped patterning along its body. It has a deadly venom which can kill humans if bites are not treated.
Banded Rock Rattlesnake
The banded rock rattlesnake is a smaller species. It grows to 3 feet in length and has a stout body type. It is mainly grayish in color sometimes with a hint of pink and thin black bands around its body. The coloration is ideal camouflage against rocks. Bites from this species should be treated as soon as possible.
The black-tailed rattlesnake grows just over 4 feet in length and has a thick body. It ranges from olive-gray to reddish-brown in color and has a distinct black band between its eyes. It also has black stripes from the corner of the eye to the sides of its mouth. It has a comparatively mild venom compared to some rattlesnakes, but can kill the young and infirm.
The Mojave rattlesnake grows to just over 4 feet in length and has a stout body type. It ranges from tan to olive-green in color with darker mottled patches along its back and sides. The snake has distinctive pale lines running from the corners of its eyes toward its neck. It produces large amounts of potent venom and bites should always be treated.
Arizona Black Rattlesnake
The Arizona black rattlesnake grows to just over 3 feet in length and has a thick body type. The snake ranges from dark brown to black with darker blotches along the length of its body. The older the snake, the darker its color, and some adults also have sporadic thin yellow lines. It is a highly venomous species and can be deadly if bites are left untreated.
The western rattlesnake grows to around 3 feet in length and has a thick body type. Its coloring is green-gray to green-brown with darker mottled blotches along the back which become more like rings nearer the tail. Like all rattlesnakes, it generally only bites when threatened and can deliver a fatal amount of venom.
The massasauga rattlesnake grows to just over 3 feet in length and has a thick body type. It ranges from dark brown to gray-brown in color with darker patches along the back and sides. Compared to other rattlesnakes, its rattle is small and not as noticeable at a glance. Its venom is potent enough to cause serious illness and even death in the young and infirm. All bites should be treated.