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Crotalus mitchellii (COPE, 1861)

IUCN Red List - Crotalus mitchellii - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Speckled Rattlesnake
G: Gefleckte Klapperschlange
S: Vibora Blanca 
SynonymCaudisona mitchellii COPE 1861: 293
Crotalus mitchellii — COPE 1875
Crotalus mitchelli — BOULENGER 1896
Crotalus goldmani SCHMIDT 1922
Crotalus mitchellii mitchellii — STEBBINS 1985: 229
Crotalus mitchellii mitchellii — LINER 1994
Crotalus mitchelli — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 288
Crotalus mitchellii mitchellii — BEAMAN & HAYES 2008
Matteoea mitchelli — HOSER 2009
Crotalus mitchellii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 192
Crotalus mitchellii — MEIK et al. 2015 
DistributionMexico (S Baja California, islands off the coast, Sonora).

Type locality: "Cape St. Lucas, Lower California" [Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico].  
TypesHolotype: lost, was USNM 5291 1/2, lost fide McDiarmid et al. 1999: 289.
Holotype: USNM 37573 [Crotalus goldmani] 

Subspecies: Grismer (1999) elevated C. m. angelensis and muertensis to full species status based on aspects of coloration, squamation, and size using an evolutionary species concept. However, he provides details only on some body measurements which are of little use without a larger number or specimen.
DOUGLAS et al. 2007 elevated Crotalus mitchellii stephensi to full species level.

Nomenclature: Hoser’s 2009 classification and nomenclature has been rejected as unnecessary and unavailable by WÜSTER & BERNILS 2011.

Distribution: see map in Meik et al. 2015: Fig. 1 Reported from Arizona by Lemos-Espinal 2015. 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell (1829-1914), who combined the professions of physician and novelist. 
  • Amaral, A. D. 1927. Studies of nearctic ophidia I. Crotalus goldmani iSchmidt, 1922, a synonym of C. mitchelli Cope, 1861. Bull. Antivenin Inst. America 1 (2): 47-48
  • Beaman, K.R. & Hayes, W.K. 2008. Rattlesnakes: Research Trends and Annotated Checklist. In: Hayes et al. (eds), The biology of rattlesnakes. Loma Linda University Press, pp. 5-16
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Campbell, J.A. & Lamar, W.W. 1989. The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America. Comstock Publishing/Cornell University Press, Ithaca
  • Cliff, Frank S. 1954. Snakes of the islands in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Transactions of the San Diego Society of Natural History 12 (5): 67-98 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1861. Contributions to the ophiology of Lower California, Mexico and Central America. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 13: 292-306 - get paper here
  • Coues, Elliott 1875. Synopsis of the Reptiles and Batrachians of Arizona; with critical and field notes, and an extensive synonymy. Chapter IV. Reports upon the Collections Obtained from Portions of Nevada, Utah, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, during the Report upon Geographical and Geological Explorations and Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian. Volume V. Zoology: : 509-633 + 10 lithographic plates (3 are chromolithographs) - get paper here
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
  • Cunningham, John D. 1966. Field Observations on the Thermal Relations of Rattlesnakes. Southwestern Naturalist 11 (1): 140-142 - get paper here
  • Douglas, Michael E.; Marlis R. Douglas, Gordon W. Schuett & Louis W. Porras 2006. Evolution of Rattlesnakes (Viperidae: Crotalus) in the Warm Deserts of Western North America Shaped by Neogene Vicariance and Quaternary Climate Change. Molecular Ecology 15: 3353-3374 - get paper here
  • Douglas, Michael E.; Marlis R. Douglas, Gordon W. Schuett, Louis W. Porras & Blake L. Thomason 2007. GENEALOGICAL CONCORDANCE BETWEEN MITOCHONDRIAL AND NUCLEAR DNAS SUPPORTS SPECIES RECOGNITION OF THE PANAMINT RATTLESNAKE (CROTALUS MITCHELLII STEPHENSI). Copeia 2007 (4): 920–932 - get paper here
  • GARCÍA-PADILLA, ELI; JORGE H. VALDEZ VILLAVICENCIO, ANNY PERALTA GARCÍA 2018. Las Serpientes de Cascabel más allá del continente. Especies - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. Lee. 1999. An evolutionary classification of reptiles on islands in the Gulf of California, México. Herpetologica 55 (4): 446-469 - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Hoser, R. 2009. A reclassification of the rattlesnakes; species formerly exclusively referred to the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus. Australasian J. Herpetol. 3: 1-21 - get paper here
  • Katti C, Stacey-Solis M, Coronel-Rojas NA and Davies WIL 2019. The Diversity and Adaptive Evolution of Visual Photopigments in Reptiles. Front. Ecol. Evol. 7:352 - get paper here
  • Klauber, L. M. 1936. Crotalus mitchellii, the speckled rattlesnake. Transactions of the San Diego Society of Natural History 8 (19): 149-184 - get paper here
  • Klauber, Laurence M. 1949. Some new and revived subspecies of rattlesnakes. Transactions of the San Diego Society of Natural History 11 (6): 61-116 - get paper here
  • Klauber, Laurence M. 1963. A new insular subspecies of the speckled rattlesnake. Transactions of the San Diego Society of Natural History 13: 73-80 - get paper here
  • Laita, Mark 2013. Serpentine. Abrams and PQ Blackwell, Auckland, New Zealand, 200 unnumbered pages
  • Lemos-Espinal, Julio A. (ed.) 2015. Amphibians and Reptiles of the US - Mexico Border States / Anfibios y Reptiles de los Estados de la Frontera México - Estados Unidos. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, Texas. x + 614 pp.; ISBN 978-1-62349-306-6. - get paper here
  • Mattison, Chris 2007. The New Encyclopedia of Snakes. Princeton University Press
  • McCrystal H K; McCoid M J 1986. Crotalus mitchellii (Cope). Speckled rattlesnake. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 388: 1-4 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Meik JM, Streicher JW, Lawing AM, Flores-Villela O, Fujita MK 2015. Limitations of Climatic Data for Inferring Species Boundaries: Insights from Speckled Rattlesnakes. PLoS One 10 (6): e0131435; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131435 - get paper here
  • Meik, Jesse M and André Pires-daSilva 2009. Evolutionary morphology of the rattlesnake style. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2009, 9:35 - get paper here
  • Meik, Jesse M.; Lawing, A.M. and André Pires-da Silva 2010. Body Size Evolution in Insular Speckled Rattlesnakes (Viperidae: Crotalus mitchellii). PLoS One 5: e9524 - get paper here
  • Mocquard, M.F. 1899. Contribution a la faune herpétologique de la Basse-Californie. Nouv. Arch. Mus. Hist. Natur.Paris, 4th Series, Vol. 1: 297-343 + plates XI-XIII - get paper here
  • Murphy, R. W.; Ottley, J. R. 1984. Distribution of amphibians and reptiles on islands in the Gulf of California. Annals of the Carnegie Museum 53 (8): 207-230 - get paper here
  • Rieser, Jennifer M.; Tai-De Li, Jessica L. Tingle, Daniel I. Goldman, Joseph R. Mendelson 2021. Functional consequences of convergently evolved microscopic skin features on snake locomotion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Feb 2021, 118 (6) e2018264118; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2018264118 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, Karl Patterson 1922. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Lower California and the Neighboring Islands. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 46 (11): 607-707 - get paper here
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  • Starrett, Bryan L. 1999. Metropolitan pitvipers, notes on the ecology, systematics and husbandry of two urban rattlesnakes, Crotalus mitchelli pyrrhus and Crotalus tigris. Litteratura Serpentium 19 (2): 36-41 - get paper here
  • Stebbins,R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
  • Stille, B. 1987. Dorsal scale microdermatoglyphics and rattlesnake (Crotalus and Sistrurus) phylogeny (Reptilia: Viperidae: Crotalinae). Herpetologica 43: 98-104 - get paper here
  • Strimple, Pete 1992. Crotalus mitchelli, the Speckled rattlesnake. Litteratura Serpentium 12 (2): 26-31 - get paper here
  • Strimple, Pete 1994. Captive birth of Southwestern speckled rattlesnakes, Crotalus mitchelli pyrrhus (Cope). Litteratura Serpentium 14 (5): 142-144 - get paper here
  • Ukuwela, K.D.B., de Silva, A., Sivaruban, A. et al. 2022. Diversity, distribution, and natural history of the marine snakes of Sri Lanka. Marine Biodiversity 52, 24 (2022) - get paper here
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  • Velde, Hans v.d. 1995. Breeding results: Crotalus mitchelli mitchelli - Speckled rattlesnake. Litteratura Serpentium 15 (3): 78-79 - get paper here
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  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
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  • Winchell, S. 2007. Klapperschlangen! Die Gattung Crotalus. Reptilia (Münster) 12 (66): 18-25 - get paper here
  • Wong, Humberto 1997. Comments on the snake records of Chilomeniscus cinctus, Crotalus exsul, and C. Mitchelli from Islas Magdalena and Santa Margarita, Baja California, México. Herpetological Review 28 (4): 188-189 - get paper here
  • Wüster, W. & Bérnils, R.S. 2011. On the generic classification of the rattlesnakes, with special reference to the Neotropical Crotalus durissus complex (Squamata: Viperidae). ZOOLOGIA 28 (4): 417–419 - get paper here
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