Crotalus triseriatus

Crotalus triseriatus is a venomous pit viper species found in Mexico. Two subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here.[5]

Crotalus triseriatus
Crotalus triseriatus in Morelia zoo.jpg
Crotalus triseriatus in Morelia Zoo
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Genus: Crotalus
C. triseriatus
Binomial name
Crotalus triseriatus
(Wagler, 1830)
Crotalus triseriatus distribution.png
  • Uropsophus triseriatus
    Wagler, 1830
  • Crot[alus]. triseriatus
    Gray, 1831
  • Crotalus lugubris (part)
    Jan, 1859
  • Caudisona lugubris
    Cope, 1860
  • C[audisona]. triseriata
    — Cope, 1867
  • Crotalus pallidus
    Günther, 1895
  • Crotalus triseriatus
    Boulenger, 1896
  • Crotalus triseriatus triseriatus
    Klauber In Githens & George, 1931
  • Crotalus triseriatus anahuacus
    Gloyd, 1940[2]
Common names: Mexican dusky rattlesnake,[3] dusky rattlesnake[4]


Adult male specimens of C. triseriatus commonly grow to a total length (including tail) greater than 60 cm (24 in), with females somewhat smaller. The maximum recorded total length is 68.3 cm (26.9 in).[3]

Geographic rangeEdit

The species C. triseriatus is found in Mexico, along the southern edge of the Mexican Plateau in the highlands of the Transverse Volcanic Cordillera, including the states of Jalisco, México, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Puebla, Tlaxcala, and Veracruz. The type locality given by Wagler in 1830 is "Mexico". A restriction to "Alvarez, San Luis Potosí, Mexico" was proposed by H.M. Smith and Taylor (1950).[2]


Crotalus triseriatus occurs in pine-oak forest, boreal forest, coniferous forest and, bunchgrass grasslands. On Volcán Orizaba, it is found at very high altitudes. There, the snow line comes down to about 4,572 m (15,000 ft), while green plants can be found up to 4,573 m (15,003 ft): the species has been found within this zone. However, it is most common at 2,700 to 3,350 metres (8,860 to 10,990 ft) in elevation.[3]

Conservation statusEdit

The species C. triseriatus is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (v3.1, 2001).[6] Species are listed as such due to their wide distribution, presumed large population, or because they are unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. The population trend was stable when assessed in 2007.[7]


Prey reportedly found in stomachs of C. triseriatus include a frog, a murid rodent (Neotomodon alstoni), lizards, other small mammals, crickets, and salamanders.[3]


Bite symptoms from C. triseriatus are reported to include intense pain, swelling, faintness, and cold perspiration.[3]


Subspecies[5] Taxon author[5] Common name[4] Geographic range[2][3]
C. t. armstrongi Campbell, 1979 western dusky rattlesnake Mexico: Jalisco and Nayarit
C. t. triseriatus (Wagler, 1830) dusky rattlesnake Mexico: Michoacán, Morelos, México, Puebla, Tlaxcala and Veracruz


The subspecific name, armstrongi, is in honor of American herpetologist Barry L. Armstrong.[8]


In the relatively recent past, two additional subspecies were described:[3]

  • C. t. anahuacus Gloyd, 1940 - currently regarded as a junior synonym of C. t. triseriatus
  • C. t. quadrangularis Harris & Simmons, 1978 - currently regarded as a junior synonym of C. aquilus


  1. ^ Canseco-Márquez, L.; Mendoza-Quijano, F. (2007). "Crotalus triseriatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2007: e.T64338A12771768. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2007.RLTS.T64338A12771768.en. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b c McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré TA (1999). Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, District of Columbia: Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Campbell JA, Lamar WW (2004). The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere. Ithaca and London: Comstock Publishing Associates. 870 pp. 1500 plates. ISBN 0-8014-4141-2.
  4. ^ a b Mehrtens JM (1987). Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
  5. ^ a b c "Crotalus triseriatus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 1 August 2007.
  6. ^ Crotalus triseriatus at the IUCN Red List. Accessed 13 September 2007.
  7. ^ 2001 Categories & Criteria (version 3.1) at the IUCN Red List. Accessed 13 September 2007.
  8. ^ Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Crotalus triseriatus armstrongi, p. 11).

Further readingEdit

  • Campbell JA (1979). "A New Rattlesnake (Reptilia, Serpentes, Viperidae) from Jalisco, Mexico". Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 81 (4): 365–370. (Crotalus triseriatus armstrongi, new subspecies).
  • Wagler J (1830). Natürliches System der AMPHIBIEN, mit vorangehender Classification der SÄUGTHIERE und VÖGEL. Ein Beitrag zur vergleichenden Zoologie. München, Stuttgart and Tübingen: J.G. Cotta. vi + 354 pp. + one plate. (Uropsophus triseriatus, new species, p. 176). (in German and Latin).

External linksEdit