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Photo credit:

Kameron Orr

Common name

Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake

Scientific name

Crotalus pyrrhus

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Federal and State Protections

Range Map

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Countries of Occurrence

United States of America

Adult size

60.9cm (24in) - 111cm (43.7in)

States or Providence 

California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah

Counties

Coconino (AZ), Maricopa (AZ), Mohave (AZ), Pima (AZ), Pinal (AZ), Yavapai (AZ), La Paz (AZ), Yuma (AZ), Gila (AZ), Graham (AZ)

Species Description

This medium-sized rattlesnake averages about 2-3.5 ft in length. It inhabits southern California, Arizona, and the southern tips of Nevada and Utah. Southwestern Speckled rattlesnakes typically inhabit higher elevations, preferring rocky slopes and outcroppings in high arid environments.

Crotalus pyrrhus has been observed using its body to collect drops of rain during limited desert precipitation events, which they then drink. This behavior is known as "rain harvesting", and helps the snake to survive in extreme environments.

This species is highly variable in coloration from pink to blue to black-and-white; varying almost entirely in relation to the shade of rocks in where they are found, such that populations from grey rocks are darker grey, red rocks are more pinkish/terra-cotta and lighter rocks are almost white. This color variation helps them to blend in better with their environment, advantageous for both avoiding predators and ambushing prey.