Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Speckled Rattlesnake - with a big appetite!

My neighbor here in Cuyamaca Woods, Norm Huefner, spotted a very special rattlesnake the other day -- a Speckled Rattlesnake, Crotalus mitchelli. Having seen many specimens of the other two San Diego County rattlers that are to be found west of the deserts (the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake and the Red Diamond Rattlesnake) over the years, I have STILL never encountered a Speckled Rattler, so this is an exciting event, and gives me hope of seeing one myself.

This was a very ambitious young one, trying to swallow what appears to be a Western Fence Lizard.

Speckled Rattlesnakes are seen much less often than the other members of their genus here, but also have a reputation for being more "touchy" and prone to agitation. They have a very weak pattern on their backs, sometimes resembling granite, which is a typical component of their preferred habitats.

Used with permission of Norman Huefner

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That is one hungry snake. I love the pattern. It certainly is the time of year to be looking for rattlers.