Facts about Willard’s rattlesnake. "Scientific name for Willard’s rattlesnake is Crotalus willardi. Willard’s rattlesnakes are also referred to as Ridge-nosed rattlesnakes. They are found in Southwestern United States and Mexico. They were recently discovered in United States by Professor Frank C. Willard. This explains why they are named after him.
Willard’s rattlesnakes are small rattlesnakes that measures one to two feet (.30 to .60 meters) in length. This is a common length size to all the subspecies. The color patterns vary slightly in all the species, though the base is mostly brown with pale or white stripes. The side of the nose has distinctive ranges which are specifically found in the Willard’s rattlesnakes. This again adds up to their name.
Willard’s rattlesnakes rarely move away from their habitats. They are always seen around the wooded mountains where human encounter is very rare. They are usually active during summer and stay inactive in winter. The Willard’s rattlesnake don’t rush to bite because if they feel threatened they always warn a person by shaking their tail. When they realize that you are not yet moved by their warning that is when they bite for self defense.
When the Willard’s rattlesnake bite, their bite is normally painful and very discomforting. But in general it is not very dangerous compared to other rattle snakes. A life threatening hemotoxic venom which is life threatening and even can cause deaths in some cases is usually absent in Willard’s rattlesnakes bite. But caution should be taken because their bite can cause severe injuries that may require to be stitched.
Willard’s rattlesnakes are not aggressive hunters because they rarely go to hunt for prey. They lie down and coil waiting for the prey to approach within their reach. The Willard’s rattlesnake diet is common among other species of snakes and this include; small mammals, birds, lizards and big centipedes. In most cases the adults only feed on mammals and birds, leaving lizards and centipedes to their young ones.
Willard’s rattlesnakes are ovoviviparous a common characteristics for all rattle snakes. Coitus takes place from late summer to early fall. The young Willard’s rattlesnakes develop within an egg in their mothers belly before birth. Gestation period lasts for around four to five months.
In late July or August, the female Willard’s rattlesnake gives birth to around 2-9 young ones. Their tails are brightly colored but fade when they grow. It has been observed that the bright tail is used to lure prey especially lizards so that they can approach a striking distance.
Reproductive period differs on their environment they are living in. This is because the wild Willard’s rattlesnakes reproduce every second or third year with the ones in captivity reproducing annually. But generally both sexes reach reproductive maturity when there are 16 inches (40.6 cm) in body length.
Willard’s rattlesnakes are threatened by several factors. Their habitats are threatened by cattle grazing, fire, climate change, mining, woodcutting, collection by humans and sometimes killings. But efforts have been made to make sure that Willard’s rattlesnakes are protected within their range. So far it has been reported that Willard’s rattlesnakes are endangered species and much need to be done.