Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake

Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus

Description:

This was the prettiest rattler that I've seen. It's speckled with various colors ranging from black to nearly pink. The tail stayed in the crevice so I never saw what it looked like. It slowly moved backwards, back into the hole when it sensed me watching it. "Adults are 23-52 inches in length (58-132 cm) averaging 2 - 3.5 feet. A heavy-bodied, venomous pit viper, with a thin neck and a large triangular head. Pupils are elliptical. Scales are keeled. Shows a great variety of body coloration which usually allows the snake to blend into its environment, from off-white, yellowish, gray, tan, pinkish, pale orange, to brown." - California Herps

Habitat:

Crevice in rocks under an Oak tree. This beauty was about 20 feet away with a ditch in between us. This subspecies "is found throughout much of southern California north to aproximately the Mojave river, east into Nevada and extreme southwest Utah, south into Arizona and southern Baja California Norte." - California Herps

Notes:

"Heat sensing pits on the sides of the head help the snake to locate prey by their warmth. Long, hollow, movable fangs connected to venom glands inject a very toxic venom which quickly immobilize prey. The snake can control the amount of venom injected and the fangs are replaced if broken. Bites on humans are potentially dangerous without immediate medical treatment. Even a dead snake can bite and inject venom if the jaws reflexively open when they are touched." - California Herps

Species ID Suggestions



Sign in to suggest organism ID

1 Comment

Thank you. I love the colors. Can you believe I wanted to get closer? I guess it's good a large ditch was in the way :)

Escondido, California, USA

Spotted on Sep 12, 2012
Submitted on Sep 13, 2012

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team