|Aliases||Mitchell's rattlesnake, pale rattler, pallid rattlesnake, red rattlesnake, Southwestern speckled rattlesnake, speckled rattlesnake, white rattlesnake|
|Classification||Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus|
|Discoverer||Edward Drinker Cope|
|Reproduction||Sexual; gives live birth|
|Average Length||3 - 4 feet (91 - 120 cm)|
|Prey||Small mammals, birds, lizards|
|Subspecies||Angel de la Guarda Island Speckled Rattlesnake, El Muerto Island Speckled Rattlesnake, Panamint Rattlesnake, San Lucan Speckled Rattlesnake|
The Bleached Rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus) is a medium-sized species of venomous pit viper indigenous to North America, specifically in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.
A nocturnal species, they inhabit rocky country regions, where they feed opportunistically on small mammals. During the heat of the day, they will shelter in rock crevices and mammal burrows. However, they will become more diurnal as the year enters the cooler months.
They are notable for having a variety of colors they can be, directly dependent upon the color of the rocks and soil of their indigenous habitat. In this manner, they can be brown, gray, pink, yellow, or even nearly white. All members are speckled black and white. Even their patterning can be varied, consisting of bands, blotches, or even rhombs. The ring is universally ringed.
As with other venomous snakes, they have slitted pupils.
Their diet consists mostly of small mammals, although birds (including goldfinches) and lizards are also taken, the latter especially by juveniles. They have been known to consume nearly full-grown cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus auduboni sanctidiegi).
The venom of a Bleached Rattlesnake After initial bite (which draws roughly a single drop of blood), no pain beyond what feels like a thorn prick is reported until after incision and antivenin is administered. At that point however there is severe pain for an hour or so, followed up with much discoloration and swelling; those bitten on the hand have been noted for extreme swelling in the digits, to the point of resembling "red bananas". Fingers and wrist in these individuals become covered in blebs and large blisters.
The Bleached Rattlesnake is ovoviviparous, with females giving birth to as many as 12 live young. Neonates are 12 inches (30 cm) long and prey mostly on lizards.
The species is found in rocky country at elevations above 5,000 feet (1,500 m) above sea level such as canyons and rocky hillsides, rock ledges and talus slopes. Those found in southern California are sometimes also found in chaparral or cactus country. Wherever they live they never stray far from rocks that they use for shelter.
Their range consists of the southwestern regions of the continent of North America and parts of northwestern Central America. These include southern areas of California and Nevada, southwestern Utah, and western Arizona; they also are found in the northwestern Sonora and northern Baja California in Mexico.