Discovering the Desert / Change Over Time

Speckled Rattlesnake specimen in a jar

Speckled Rattlesnake (Crotalus michelli)

Animalia, Chordata, Reptilia, Squamata, Viperidae

The Speckled Rattlesnake (Crotalus michelli) prefers rocky habitats, and tends to be diurnal in cool weather and nocturnal during hot. An average adult measures 24-30 inches. Its species name, michelli, honors S. W. Mitchell, a medical doctor who researched rattlesnake venom and bite treatments in the 1860s.

“Wet” specimens are preserved in fluid, usually denatured alcohol. They retain the 3-D quality of the animal, and preserve soft tissues and DNA for future research. They are used in DNA sequencing studies to detect changes in a species over time.

Joshua Tree National Park, JOTR 17146