I just got home after a brief, surprise thunderstorm ... to find a pretty good size snake lounging in the breezeway at the garage side door. (Presumably, it was seeking shelter from the rain?)

  • Could anyone please identify this type of snake?
  • Is it poisonous?
  • And in any case, is it likely to bite if it felt disturbed or provoked?

Thank you very much in advance!

Diameter: ~~4cm (~~1.5")

Length: ~~1m (~2-3'+) [though hard to say, since it's only been seen curled up]

Location: Southern California, mountainous desert region (~3K' altitude)

snake pix 1

snake pix 2

EDIT (~11pm PT): It's still there. :O

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE. Please upload your pictures rather than just providing links (posts should be self contained and not require anyone to follow links). In addition, please give an estimate of the size of the snake. For more information on how to use this site please take the tour and then see the help center starting with How to Ask questions effectively on this site. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Jun 24, 2021 at 6:00
  • $\begingroup$ Hi, @tyersome -- I appreciate the welcome, and the tips. (I'd tried to upload the photos, but wasn't familiar with the resulting syntax.) I've updated the question accordingly, and hope this helps. Any insights appreciated. Thank you! $\endgroup$
    – someguy
    Jun 24, 2021 at 6:33

1 Answer 1


Almost certainly the Western Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis, which is probably the most common rattlesnake in California. It has the characteristic fat body and stripes of a Rattlesnake.

Western rattlesnakes are very common in much of the western part of the USA from southern Canada south into Mexico and across the Great Plains.

See second link for photos with similar colouration to yours.

Like all rattlesnakes, it is venomous and will bite and envenomate when threatened. Get a professional to deal with it.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you VERY much. The snake eventually left on its own, though we've since been in contact with Animal Control, in case it returns. They say rattlesnakes are considered "emergency" service calls -- so your identification was VERY important info in that regard. $\endgroup$
    – someguy
    Jun 24, 2021 at 19:56

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