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What is a Speckled Rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii)

What is a Speckled Rattlesnake

Speckled Rattlesnake Overview

While the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake is probably the most famous rattlesnake in the American Southwest, it isn’t the only kind of rattlesnake found slithering around the desert rocks and mountains.

The Speckled Rattlesnake, mostly found in Arizona and the mountains of northern Mexico, is the cousin to the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake and looks similar to them but is different in its own way.

Like most rattlesnakes who get their name from either where they live or something unique about their appearance, the Speckled Rattlesnake got its name from the unique spots or speckles scattered on its body.


Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake, Crotalus Mitchelli Pyrrus

Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake, Crotalus Pyrrus

There are two subspecies of the Speckled Rattlesnake.

  • San Lucan Speckled Rattlesnake (C. m. mitchelli)
  • El Muerto Island Speckled Rattlesnake (C. m. muertensis)

Size and Body Description

The Speckled Rattlesnake comes in a variety of colors ranging from tan, brown, pink, gray, yellow, white, orange, or even an off red depending on the surrounding colors of the rocks and sand they live in.

No matter the color, the Speckled Rattlesnake will be peppered with spots of black, white, or brown throughout its body.


Adult Speckled Rattlesnake’s average from 24 inches all the way up to 30 inches.

It is rare for a Speckled Rattlesnake to grow over 3 feet in length.


The Speckled Rattlesnake is a carnivore feeding primarily on rodents, lizards, and some unsuspecting birds


In the American Southwest, mating season is typically around spring, just before the brutal summer heat.

Because the Speckled Rattlesnake is Ovoviviparous, female Speckled Rattlesnakes will carry the eggs around for about 90 days and will give birth to  as many as 12 live young mid-summer.

Once the babies are born, the female snake leaves the baby snakes to fend for themselves and carries on with her life.


The Speckled Rattlesnake is found throughout the Southwest of the United States in Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada, and in parts of northern Mexico.


As of writing this, the Speckled Rattlesnake has been classified as “Least Concern” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

References Used

What is a Speckled Rattlesnake