Milk Snake

What is a Milk Snake?

A milk snake, Lampropeltis triangulum, are nonvenomous New World snakes with a wide range throughout North and South America. Milk snakes can occupy areas as low as sea level and as high as 8,000 feet (about 2.4 km). In the United States, a slender-bodied milk snakes generally range in length from 24 to 36 inches (about 60.96 to 91.44 cm), though they can reach lengths of up to 52 inches (about 132 cm);

Appearance of Milk Snakes:

The milk snake is covered in smooth scales, giving it a typically shiny or glossy appearance. The milk snake’s appearance can sometimes be similar to that of the venomous copperhead or coral snake, but the milk snake has a distinctive light-colored Y- or V-shaped patch on its head. A colorful pattern is characteristic of the milk snake. Its body is usually light gray or tan with large rust, reddish-brown blotches over a gray base along the top and a black-on-white checkerboard pattern on the belly.

Temperament of Milk Snakes:

what is the temperament of a milk snake?  a milk snake will react no differently than any other snake when threatened. Milk snakes, especially when raised from birth, are the most peaceful, gentle snakes around. They are non-venomous and excellent pets.

Behavior of Milk Snakes:

Milk snakes are primarily nocturnal and mostly active at dusk and during the night. The only time they venture out during the day is when it’s either wet or cold. When the temperature rises, they tend to hide or seclude themselves under logs, rocks or burrows. In the winter, milk snakes go into a state of brumation in communal dens.

Diet of milk snakes

Milk snakes are primarily carnivorous, and they consume a wide variety of prey, including mammals and birds. Their most common food source is mice, rats, voles and other rodents that are primarily found in agricultural areas. They even eat lizards, snakes, snake eggs and bird eggs. When food is less readily available, they may also consume their dangerous look-alike cousin, the coral snake!

Types of milk snakes

The two of the most preferred types are the Honduran milk snake and the Eastern milk snake.

Honduran milk snake

milk snake

Honduran milk snakes are a harmless subspecies of milk snake found in the tropical parts of Central America and have bright colors, which help them blend in with the leaves and flowers. They eat invertebrates primarily like slugs, insects, spiders and worms, and small mammals when they get larger than 12 inches long and capable of reaching up to 6 feet in length. They possess a striking tri-color pattern of bright reddish orange with black and yellow banding and make very popular pets with breeders because of their potential for creating many bright and eye-catching color morphs.

Eastern milk snake

milk snake

The Eastern Milk Snake is a relatively slender snake. They are considered as a pretty snake, of the many subspecies of milk snake. There are heavy red or reddish-brown blotches over a gray base along the top and a black-on-white checkerboard pattern on the belly. Often has a Y shaped light spot on the top of the head. It actively seeks out and feeds on mice and other small rodents that infest barns and other farm buildings. The Eastern Milk Snake usually is secretive and hides under objects such as logs, boards and stones.

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