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


Adults are 23-52 inches in length (58-132 cm) averaging 2 - 3.5 feet. Young 8.5 - 10.5 inches. A heavy-bodied, venomous pit viper, with a thin neck and a large triangular head. Pupils are elliptical. Scales are keeled. The body is marked with a vague pattern consisting of dark speckled banded markings from off-white, yellowish, gray, tan, pinkish, pale orange, to brown.


Associated mostly with arid areas strewn with rocks and boulders - alongside buttes, mesas, and desert outcroppings, but sometimes found on loose soil. Occurs in areas vegetated by sagebrush, creosote, thornscrub, chaparral, pinon-juniper woodland, succulent desert.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


AshleyT 8 years ago

I bet! When I looked at the picture then saw it was called a Speckled, I admit I had to double-check it! I'm not very familiar with the rattlesnakes out west, and I didn't realize these guys could be so variable! I hope to make it out there one day, and rattlesnakes are top of my list to find :)

JudyCrawford 8 years ago

Thank you Ashley. I kinda wished this one was more speckled, would have been easier to identify. We've so many different kinds of rattlesnakes in this desert and I've only seen 4.

AshleyT 8 years ago

Such a pretty snake!! This is the species of rattlesnake I want to find the most, just the more speckled version :)

Spotted by

California, USA

Spotted on Jun 30, 2013
Submitted on Jul 10, 2013

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors

Join the Project Noah Team Join Project Noah Team