Hill Country Wildlife - Texas Parks and Wildlife
A central Texas landowner made a rare discovery recently on his ranch in the Texas Hill Country.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the rancher spotted an albino western diamondback rattlesnake in Mason County, northwest of Austin.
In a post made to Facebook by Hill Country Wildlife – Texas Parks and Wildlife, the rare find is “something you do not see every day,” and estimated that the snake was 8 to 10 inches long.
A full-grown western diamondback can be between 30 and 72 inches, meaning that this beautiful critter still has some growing to do. Like other animals borns albino, this rattlesnake is unable to product pigment in it’s scales and eyes, resulting in off-white colors. Albinos born in the wild are at a great disadvantage as they can be easily spotted by prey and rarely live a long life.
“Fortunately, true albinism occurs very rarely in the wild,” according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “Some say it happens only once in every hundred thousand births. Others claim it is even more rare — one in a million.”This snake is missing the pigment, melanine, which gives animals much of their coloration. This condition is somewhat of a rarity in rattlesnakes.
The landowner who discovered the albino snake planned to return it to the same area it was found, officials said.