Friday, October 15, 2010

Western Diamondbacks' mating attempt in fall

October 16, 2010
In front of my studio window, we have a little 'house' that protects one of our quail blocks from being carried off by coyotes or dogs - havelinas can't get through the backyard fence. This morning there were coils moving inside.
At first, we couldn't quite make heads or tails of it - there were too many loops. Then we saw the head tapping the back in an unusual motion, tenderly?.
Ok, two tails, and intertwined in a suggestive position. They mate in October? Normal mating season is in spring, I saw them in April. Fall matings do occur, though. In that case, the sperm will be retained viable by the female until spring, resulting in birth in next years warmer season. Interesting, but right under my window? in the dog run? Sorry, but we asked them to move.
Free transport provided - into the State Land next door. Yes, they can come back, but if they don't, others will. There's no vacuum in nature.

Pretty angry at first. Who wouldn't be. But we picked a nice place for theme in a dry wash with lots of rodent holes.

They took off together. I hope we didn't spoil their mood.


  1. How do you put them in the transport container?

  2. In this case: Randy and I both armed with a snake stick. We just lift them in.

  3. What incredible snakes these are! You are so blessed to have witnessed such an a moment in time! I am looking the "green-eyed monster" in the face at the moment.

  4. How cool! Fall matings are pretty rare, I think. What a neat sighting, though of course you'd have to move them.

  5. From Stephane Poulin, Curator of Herps at the ASDM:

    Very cool,
    We are also seeing lots of movement in our rattlesnakes with radio transmitter. We had some mating early last week, it is always cool to see them. The male always seems gentle with the female.

    Have great day

  6. Thanks for the humorous account ... You sure have a lot of snakes at your place.