Authored by: Garth Teitjen
||Edward's Massasauga, Edward's Rattlesnake
||Desert Massasauga Sistrurus tergeminus edwardsi
||A small 14"-32" Rattlesnake. They are a light silver-gray to
gray-brown rattlesnake. Large, oval, crisp-edged, dark brown blotches
line the back. A row of faded, soft-edged blotches lines each side.
Below that row there are two additional rows of crisp-edged, dark
gray-brown blotches. A dark brown bar bordered by a thin white
lower-edge extends back from each eye. The underside is usually plain
cream or white. The pupils are vertically elliptical and the scales
are keeled. Head is triangular.
||It is easily identified by the presence of nine large symmetrical scales on top of the head between the ocular scales. All other rattlesnakes in New Mexico do not have these scales and have many small scales instead.
||Found in valleys, on low sloping alluvial fans and on rolling
grass-covered hills within the semidesert grassland. Found at
elevations ranging from about 3,500' to about 4,600'.
||t is primarily nocturnal, but is occasionally encountered in the
morning, on overcast days, or just before sunset. It spends most of
it's time underground in rodent burrows.
||Hibernates during the cold months, most likely
||Livebearing, gives live birth to a litter of 4 to 8 young in late summer. Young have a yellow tail that is used to lure
||They eat lizards, frogs, centipedes, mice, and other small mammals.