SPECIES OF RATTLESNAKE FOUND IN BLUE SKY
Rattlesnakes are fully protected in Blue Sky Ecological Reserve.
Rattlesnakes are beneficial because they keep down the population of mice and rats. Some of these mammals harbor disease and destroy crops.
Southern Pacific Rattlesnake
(Crotalus viridis helleri)
Found virtually everywhere. Length 6 inches – 5 feet. Greenish-brown to black snake has brown to black blotches down its back. The blotches generally have lighter edges. (photo at right)
Red Diamond Rattlesnake (Crotalus ruber ruber)
Reddish-brown snake with the outline of cream-colored diamonds down its back. Usually prefers areas of brush and scattered rock (chaparral). Length 9 inches to 5.5 feet. (shown above)
Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchelli pyrrhus)
Coloring looks like decomposed granite: from cream or tan to sometimes pink or yellowish, and usually with indistinct bands of salt-and-pepper speckling. Found in rocky areas.
All snakes in San Diego are having a hard time surviving as we take away the habitat in which they live to build houses and roads. If you encounter a rattlesnake while hiking in Blue Sky, consider yourself lucky. Rattlesnakes can be active year round in San Diego County.
Staying Safe in Rattlesnake Country
The rules are simple. Remember, all snakes are harmless from a distance.
Keep your eyes and ears open wide. Try to walk, not run, so that you don’t surprise a snake. If you do come upon a snake, take two giant steps backwards. Enjoy watching it from a safe distance, then give it a very wide berth and move on.
Rattlesnakes will strike only in self-defense. They are quite shy and do not come after people. All any snake wants to do is to eat to survive and reproduce.
Don’t touch even a dead rattlesnake. Do not play with, tease or try to capture rattlesnakes.
Using common sense, we can share our open spaces with rattlesnakes.
What to do if bitten
Remove any rings, bracelets, and wrist watch, if bitten on the hand or arm. Remove shoes and any toe rings, or ankle bracelets, if bitten on the leg or foot.
What not to do if bitten
Rattlesnakes and Dogs
Dogs are naturally curious and often this curiosity brings them into harm's way. Please keep your dog on a leash (of not more than 6’) and away from the brush at the sides of the trail. Keep a look out for any rattlesnakes which may be crossing the trail.