I found this Speckled Rattlesnake on South Mountain in Phoenix, moving through an area I’ve seen him in before several times. Despite speckled rattlesnakes being quite common on South Mountain, they are usually unknown to residents of nearby neighborhoods due to extremely cryptic coloration and tendency to stay in the rocks.
Some of these individuals become quite predictable after repeated, non-invasive observation. During the Spring of 2013, I was able to follow this particular snake during different parts of the day and eventually learn daily habits enough to be able to find it at-will. Each undisturbed observation lead to further understanding of behavior, and applied elsewhere, being able to find more with that knowledge. This particular snake, in the many times I’ve seen it, has never rattled at me and has never considered me a threat. In 2014 I’ve only seen him once, in one of only 2 visits to the area, where he was once again on the move and crawled right past my feet without ever realizing I was there.
This species is one we commonly remove from yards in South Phoenix, along South Mountain; Ahwatukee, and Laveen. Other color phases occur elsewhere, but these blue ones are exciting to see.