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Crane County, Texas

Map by Joseph E. Forks
Text by Troy Hibbitts

click to enlarge


Crane county lies on the southern portion of the Permian Basin, with its northern border only about 15 miles south of Odessa. It is bordered on the south by the Pecos River, which, however, has only minimal water flow in this region. Crane is a small county by West Texas standards, at only 795 square miles. Most of Crane county is monotonously flat, and unsuitable for L. alterna. However, in the southeastern corner of the county, a range of rocky mesas enter the county. These mesas are collectively called King Mountain.


Crane is a fairly dry county, with an average rainfall of 12" per year. Vegetation throughout the county is sparse desert growth for the most part, with creosote and mesquite brush dominant. In some locations, growths of desert grasses are fairly dense, as well. On the rockier hillsides, lecheguilla and sotol can be found.


Crane county has a population of 4,769 individuals, most of which live in the town of Crane, which is the only town in the county. Much of the landscape is divided into the oil fields characteristic of the Permian Basin.


King Mountain
The only locality in Crane county where alterna can be collected in the vicinity of King Mountain, in the southeastern corner of the county. No public roadways cross this mesa. A very few roadkilled snakes have been collected along US Hwy 385 where it nears King Mountain, although suitable habitat for alterna is not particularly near the roadway.



  • 595.jpg - Troy Hibbitts
  • 088.jpg - Troy Hibbitts
  • 1013.jpg - Craig Hodgson
  • 1014.jpg - Craig Hodgson
  • 1015.jpg - Bryan Box
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