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Crotalus horridus LINNAEUS, 1758

IUCN Red List - Crotalus horridus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesE: Timber rattlesnake, cane-brake rattlesnake (atricaudatus)
G: Wald-Klapperschlange (atricaudatus) 
SynonymCrotalus horridus horridus LINNAEUS 1758
Crotalus horridus LINNAEUS 1758: 214
Crotalus atricaudatus LATREILLE 1802
Crotalus horridus — LE CONTE 1852: 415
Crotalus horridus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 1472
Crotalus horridus — BOULENGER 1896
Crotalus horridus atricaudatus GLOYD 1935
Crotalus horridus horridus — GLOYD 1935
Crotalus horridus — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 233
Crotalus horridus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 285
Crotalus horridus atricaudatus — DIXON 2000
Crotalus horridus horridus — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 512
Crotalus horridus atricaudatus — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 516
Crotalus horridus atricaudatus — LOVE 2007
Crotalus horridus — HOSER 2009
Crotalus horridus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 191 
DistributionCanada (Ontario),
E USA (E Texas, E Oklahoma, E Kansas, SE Nebraska, SE Minnesota, S/E Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana without SW, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, N Florida, South Carolina, most of North Carolina, W/NW/SE Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, S Indiana, S/E Illinois, SW Wisconsin, SC Ohio, W Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, S Vermont)

Type locality: “America”

atricaudatus: E Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Virginia  
Reproductionviviparous. C. atrox and C. horridus may hybridize in nature (Meike t al. 2008). Schuett et al. (1997) provide evidence for facultative parthenogenesis in this species. 
TypesType: Now lost, according to Klauber (1956:35); originally in King Adolph Frideric collection and later sent to the Royal Zoological State Museum in Stockholm, Sweden (NRM = NHRM), cited after MCDIARMID et al. 1999. 

Subspecies: Pisani (1972) found that characters in C. horridus tend to be clinal and therefore recommended not to recognize subspecies. This was confirmed by Allsteadt et al. (2006). However, Brown & Ernst (1986) defended subspecies.

Type species: Crotalus horridus LINNAEUS 1758 is the type species of the genus Crotalus LINNAEUS 1758.

Phylogenetics: Blair & Sánchez-Ramírez 2016 published a detailed molecular analysis of rattlesnakes.

Synonymy: Kaiser et al. 2013 considered the generic names Rattlewellsus Hoser 2012, Cottonus Hoser 2009, Crutchfieldus Hoser 2009, Cummingea Hoser 2009, Edwardsus Hoser 2009, Hoserea Hoser 2009, Matteoea Hoser 2009, Mullinsus Hoser 2009, Piersonus Hoser 2009, Pillotus Hoser 2009, Rentonus Hoser 2012, Sayersus Hoser 2009, Smythus Hoser 2009 invalid and rejected their use instead of Crotalus.

Nomenclature: Hoser’s 2009 classification and nomenclature has been rejected as unnecessary and unavailable by WÜSTER & BERNILS 2011. 
EtymologyThe generic name Crotalus is derived from the Greek word krotalon, meaning "rattle." 
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  • Allsteadt, J., A. H. Savitzky, C. E. Petersen, and D. N. Naik 2006. Geographic variation in the morphology of Crotalus horridus (Serpentes: Viperidae). Herpetological Monographs 20:1-63. - get paper here
  • Anderson, Corey Devin 2015. Variation in male movement paths during the mating season exhibited by the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) in St. Louis County, Missouri Herpetology Notes 8: 267-274 - get paper here
  • Anderson, Corey Devin and Michael S. Rosenberg 2011. Variation in Association with Anthropogenic Habitat Edges Exhibited by the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) in St. Louis County, Missouri. Journal of Herpetology 45 (1): 50-55. - get paper here
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