Photo by Jerry Schudda
Sidewinder Rattlesnake – Crotalus cerastes
Due to their sidewinding movement style that leaves a J-shaped pattern in the sand, Sidewinder’s are the fastest rattlesnake on record, moving in short bursts at about 3 miles per hour. These small tan snakes with brown dorsal blotches are also known for their supraocular horns which help them to detect vibrations from predators and prey while they wait half buried in the sand.
The smaller size of the Sidewinder Rattlesnake correlates with lower overall venom yields. Therefore, smaller doses of venom are injected into a person when bit, resulting in symptoms similar to that of a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake but to a milder degree.