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White Rattlesnakes by Richard Bartlett on 2020-01-20 22:50:00

A profile of the beautiful white rattlesnake.

Can white be a camouflage color? It sure can when it is peppered with tiny black flecks of color and sitting atop or amidst a number of rocks that are similarly colored.

And is there any such place?

There surely is. And Jake and I were amidst those rocks right now—or actually, right then. It was late on a night late in August in Arizona and even at well past midnight the heat was radiating from those black speckled white rocks as we searched for our target, a black fleckled white speckled rattlesnake. “Speckled” is the name of this snake, Crotalus pyrrhus, as well as its color.

It was Jake who had decided on this target, the speckled rattler. Then he had added the specific color. Sounded good to me, and after all, the locale was only 2000+ miles away from our homes. Heck. What’s 2000+ miles to dedicated herpers. I had dragged Jake farther than that to see a single species of bird. And neither of us make any special claim to our birding prowess.

So after borrowing and loading Patti’s car for the trip, off we went. A day and a half later we arrived and were searching the habitat. 4 days later, after finding a fair number of great herps and groggy from lack of sleep, we realized we had failed to find the target and since we still had a few semi-target species—rock rattlers, regal horned lizards and a stop at the wonderful Arizona Sonora Desert Museum-- a few hundred miles to the east it was time to begin our multi-stopped retreat. Fortunately we were more successful on our list of semi-target taxa than we had been on the target.

Are we going to try again? You betcha! And the next time, in the famous last words of somebody (I think it was Jake!), “we shall succeed.”

But for now, Eastward-ho!
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