Ten Prairie Rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis viridis) and 10 Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes (Crotalus atrox) were offered choices between envenomated (E) and nonenvenomated (NE) mice. Both species preferred E over NE mice when envenomation was accomplished by a conspecific but not when envenomation was accomplished by the other species. However, when envenomation was accomplished by Crotalus oreganus oreganus, E mice were preferred by C. v. viridis but not by C. atrox. Accordingly, we conclude that rattlesnakes of closely related species recognize each other's E prey, whereas rattlesnakes of distantly related species do not.
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