Are aggregations of Arizona black rattlesnakes stable and complex social groups?

In 2010, we initiated a study of social behavior in Arizona black rattlesnakes (Crotalus cerberus) at sites where they aggregate. Here is a preview of our videos.

Surveillance and timelapse videos taken at Arizona black rattlesnake hibernacula. Timelapse videos created with the PlantCam by Wingscapes and Adobe® After Effects® CS4 software.

This first short video was taken at a winter hibernaculum (den) shared by Arizona black rattlesnakes and striped whipsnakes (Coluber taeniatus). A rattlesnake quickly exits out of the dark opening on the left and a whipsnake is visible on the right.

This is another den shared by rattlesnakes and striped whipsnakes. At ~15s, a whipsnake appears to fly out of the left side of the crack; another whipsnake peeks out at the bottom right.

In the beginning of this video a male rattlesnake is coiled just outside the den entrance. A female slowly crawls out of the den to join him.

In this video a male rattlesnake is coiled outside the den during a light rain. He moves his head around to drink rain off his coils and the nearby rock before crawling inside.