Rock Rattlesnake
Crotalus lepidus
The Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus) is fairly common across much of southwest Texas, but sometimes it can be hard to find one. In my opinion, it is one of the most beautiful rattlesnakes in Texas with its subtle gray and sometimes pinkish coloration. They are experts at camouflage, and sometimes you can be upon one before you realize it. This series of photos will illustrate that point. Fortunately, the species is often very inoffensive unless treated badly. Rock Rattlesnakes are quite variable in their overall coloration depending upon the terrain and rock type where they live. I have seen some individuals that are very dark gray, while others, such as the one on this page, are actually quite pink. In September, 2004, I was walking along a stream in northern Presidio Co., Texas looking for dragonflies and damselflies when I encountered the scene on the right. Note the Rock Rattlesnake in the lower right of the image. It was a cool morning and the snake was pressed up against a rock in a position that I assumed indicated it was trying to take advantage of what little sunshine was available. I have since been told by Chris Harrison of San Antonio, that this is a fairly typical hunting position for this species which may remain for hours or even days waiting for an unsuspecting prey item to come over the edge of the rock. I took a number of digital shots with a Canon EOS 1D Mark II and EF 180mm Macro and 550 EX flash. I moved all around the snake during this photo session, but it barely moved during the 15 or 20 minutes I spent with it. An hour and a half later I came back by this same location and the Rock Rattler was still there and still in the same general position. The first seven images here were taken at that time.