Sunday, November 19, 2017

Speckled Rattlesnake in Skyline Park, Arizona

The other day I was hiking at Skyline Regional Park, a desert area on the edge of Phoenix, Arizona.  I was on a little summit trail when I got to a really rocky section and thought, "This would be a good place for rattlesnakes." I looked down and...voila!

The end of its tail was hidden in the coils and it looked a LOT lighter than most rattlesnakes I've seen, without the common diamond pattern, but its head appeared to be the right shape.  It was coiled and calm, so I went ahead and hung close enough to get some nice pictures (though not TOO close--I have a good zoom).

The most common rattlesnake people see around here is the western diamondback, but I didn't think that's what it was.  When I got home, I did some internet research.  I found a description of a speckled rattlesnake that claims that they come in different colors, depending on the predominant color of the rock in the area. Isn't that amazing? It said that the speckled rattlesnakes on both South Mountain and in the White Tanks (and probably the contiguous Skyline Park, where I was) tend to have white-gray coloring to match the rock there.  Nature is amazing.

Here's a fascinating article about the different colors in different communities:
And one about the common types of snakes in Phoenix:

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