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great_basin_rattlesnakeThe Great Basin Rattlesnake is light brown or gray with a tapering row of brownish blotches down the midline of the back. Scales are large and keeled (not flat and smooth) in 25-27 rows. Their range is from southeast Oregon, southern Idaho, and northeast California, to Nevada, western Utah, and northwest Arizona. It is a subspecies of the Western Rattlesnake.

The Great Basin Gopher Snake, is sometimes mistaken for a rattlesnake. The two species do have somewhat similar markings but careful observation quickly reveals several obvious differences. The body of a rattlesnake is thicker with flat sloping sides, whereas the gopher snake’s body is perfectly round, long, and skinny. Rattlesnakes are also identified by their large triangular heads; gopher snakes’ heads are small and bullet-shaped. Most notably, gopher snakes lack the rattle at the end of their tails.

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