Leslie V. Boyer, MD

Medical Director

Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox
  • Photo by Jerry Schudda

    Western Diamondback Rattlesnake – Crotalus atrox

    The most common rattlesnake species in Arizona, Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes are both generalists in their diet, consuming a variety of rodents and lizards, as well as generalists in their habitat. They are also the largest rattlesnake species on the west coast identified by a grey to tan body with brown diamond shaped dorsal blotches and a black and white striped tail with equal size banding.

    Along with being the most common rattlesnake species, Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes are also the most common reason for rattlesnake envenomation in Arizona, largely due to their ability to adapt to urbanizing environments. Bites can range in toxicity and are predominantly characterized by tissue injury, swelling, pain, hemorrhage and coagulation abnormalities. Fortunately, commercially available antivenom as been proven to be an effective treatment option.

Leslie Boyer, MD, is the founding Director of the VIPER Institute. She is the Principal Investigator for the multicenter scorpion antivenom clinical studies program conducted throughout Arizona, including protocols for placebo-controlled, double-blind trials, open-label studies, historical control studies, and the statewide STING project. She has coordinated phase 2 and phase 3 multicenter clinical trials of pit viper antivenom, developed the Antivenom Index, and participated in the establishment of the Pan-American Lymphotoxinology Taskforce.

VIPER Projects