Speckled Rattlesnake ( Crotalus mitchellii )

The Speckled Rattlesnake is fairly common pit viper found in southern California, southern Nevada, western Arizona and south-western Utah and down the Pacific coast into Baja California.  A moderate size snake, this animal typically does not exceed 39 inches in length.  As with most animals, the Speckled Rattlesnake is a master of disguise and commonly are colored to compliment the surrounding rock.  This viper can range from pink, cream, tan or pale blues and grays.  This feature I can personally attest to as I witnessed and entire Cub Scout Pack literally step over the specimen photographed below while hiking on a camping trip in the Valley of Fire State Park just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Juvenile Speckled Rattle Snake found in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

A Juvenile Speckled Rattle Snake found in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

geographic distribution of Crotalus mitchellii (Native: Mexico; United States). classification according to RDB, Crotalus (mitchellii) angelensis and Crotalus (mitchellii) muertensis are recognized as subspecies

geographic distribution of Crotalus mitchellii (Native: Mexico; United States). classification according to RDB, Crotalus (mitchellii) angelensis and Crotalus (mitchellii) muertensis are recognized as subspecies

The Speckled Rattlesnake like all pit vipers by sensing its prey utilizing small glands near its eyes which sense thermal energy about 1 meter away.  This feature allows the viper to successfully hunt mice, birds, lizards and other small prey animals at night when they are most active.  A ground dweller, this little hunter will operate 24 hours a day, adjusting its schedule to the heat of the day and the cooler temperatures at night.

Like all reptiles, the little Speckled Rattlesnake will hibernate during to cold winter months.

 

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