How viper behavior increases their effect on prey populations The sound of domestic cats fighting is probably familiar to most readers of this blog. Like most predators, cats defend their turf and the resources within. Prey is often scarce and starvation a real possibility, so it makes sense to fight for access to these resources.… Read More


In one week (9 December 2013) Social Snakes will join a group of bloggers to draw attention to ecosystem services provided by snakes. Social media has become an important tool in conducting effective science education and outreach and snakes have much to gain from this. Many reptiles and amphibians occur in large numbers in the… Read More


For in the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught. – Baba Dioum, Senegalese Conservationist If you’ve spent much time on this site, you’ve probably noticed our tagline above. At Social Snakes, we strive to make snakes more familiar… Read More


Have you ever watched a whiptail lizard run from you at lightning speed and wondered how anything ever manages to catch and eat them? Well, I’m about to tell you. On my way home from work, I noticed a western patch-nosed snake stretched out in the bare soil next to the walking path. She immediately… Read More


There’s been so much happening this summer, we haven’t had a chance to introduce our new guy, DoubleR. Since we got back Bane’s old and newly repaired transmitter (see here and here), we’ve been on the lookout for an appropriate candidate. Jeff had a few individuals in mind; big black-tailed rattlesnakes that we’ve seen near… Read More


Over the summer of 2013, SocialSnakes was blessed to be visited by many great people, including the author of this post, Jennifer Fill. We were honored to host Jennifer for part of her first annual trip to Arizona and introduce her to our neighbors which she had never seen before (western diamond-backed rattlesnakes, patch-nosed snakes,… Read More


Not a day goes by during snake season (~April – October) that we don’t run into a western diamond-backed rattlesnake at Muleshoe headquarters. Rattlesnakes are not territorial, so several overlap here, both males and females. Some even overwinter beneath one of our buildings… The star of this group is Henry, the very first snake in… Read More


The male combat “dance” of snakes – rattlesnakes among them – is an affair wherein the obvious isn’t the truth, and the the truth is stranger than the obvious (Laurence Klauber, in Rattlesnakes, p. 703) When we think of combat, graphic images of violent competition come to mind: humans with swords or guns, sheep ramming… Read More


This time of year at Muleshoe, it’s not hard to see snakes every day if you mean to. Even though it’s hot and dry and they aren’t moving much, we have a couple of “regulars” that hang around headquarters as well as four snakes that we radio-track. And even though the monsoon has not yet… Read More


Mother’s day is a much bigger deal than Father’s day. Why? Well, there’s just something extra special about mom (sorry Dad!). So, today’s post is about an under-appreciated group of moms (you guessed it), Arizona black rattlesnakes! Human moms – you think you have it tough? Rattlesnake maternal duties may only last a couple weeks,… Read More