return to main index

  mobile - desktop
follow us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on YouTube link to us on LinkedIn
 
click here for The Bean Farm
Mice, Rats, Rabbits, Chicks, Quail
Available Now at RodentPro.com!
Locate a business by name: click to list your business
search the classifieds. buy an account
events by zip code list an event
Search the forums             Search in:
News & Events: Meet the variable Eyelashed Pit Viper . . . . . . . . . .  Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday! . . . . . . . . . .  Greater Cincinnati Herp Society Meeting - July 06, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Madison Herp Society Meeting - July 08, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  All Maryland Reptile Show - July 09, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Madison Herp Society Meeting (Milwaukee) - July 13, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Madison Herp Society Meeting (FoxValley) - July 13, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Lancaster Herp Society Meeting - July 15, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Western Maryland Reptile Show - July 16, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  East Coast Reptile Super Expo - July 16, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  DFW Herp Society Meeting - July 16, 2022 . . . . . . . . . .  Bay Area Herpetological Society Meeting - July 22, 2022 . . . . . . . . . . 


full banner - advertise here $.50/1000 views year
click here for floridaiguana.com
pool banner - $25 year
New Mexico Milksnake
Big Bend Milksnake

Lampropeltis triangulum celaenops

Size:
  • Hatchling: 6 - 8 in.
  • Adult: 24 - 36 in.(normal)

Scalation:
  • Dorsal: 21 - 25 rows
  • Ventral: avg. of 202, 198 - 207
  • Sub caudal: 60
  • Infra labial:8 - 11
  • Supra labial: 7
  • Anal Plate: Single

Photo by Troy Hibbitts
click to enlarge

Written by Troy Hibbitts

Common Name:
Big Bend or New Mexico Milksnake

Scientific Name:
Lampropeltis triangulum celaenops

Size:
Hatchling: 6 - 10 inches
Adult: 16 - 36 inches

Scalation:
Dorsal: Usually 21 scale rows at the neck and midbody, reducing to 19 or 17 at the vent.
Ventral: 179 - 190 in males, 170 - 194 in females
Subcaudald: 40 - 53 in males, 41 - 42 in females (only 2 sampled)
infralabials: 7 - 9 (usually 9)
Supralabials: 6 - 7 (usually 7)
Anal Plate: Single

Coloration:

Head:
The head is usually black except for white mottling on the supralabials, the internasals, and sometimes part of the frontals. Some specimens have much more extensive white on their heads, especially on thier snouts, temporals and supralabials. On occasional individuals, there are scattered red flecks in the black area of the head; rarely, individualswill have large red patches or extensively red heads.

Dorsal:
From 17 to 25 triads of red, black and white; the average is 21. The white rings are usually about one and a half to 3 scales wide, the black rings range from one and a half to 3 scales wide, and the red body rings usually are from 2 to 5 scales wide.

Many celaenops have white rings of intense "styrofoam white", unmarred by black flecking. In some specimens, the light rings are cream to yellow in color, while on some individuals the white rings are heavily invaded with black flecking, producing a grayish color. The red, too, varies from individual to individual, as well as between populations. In some specimens, the red is a vivid "candy-apple" or "fire-engine" color, in others it can be fairly dull to nearly brown, while still other specimens have a very deep red color.

Several anerythristic specimens have been collected, and these pattern variants are being bred commercially.

Ventral:
The white dorsal rings generally cross the ventral surfaces uninterrupted, while the red rings are bordered on the edges of the ventrals by black pigment producing a central light area, which in many specimens is invaded by black, although usually not as dark as in annulata.:

Behavior:

Celaenops can be found from April to late October or early November. It is usually only surface active at night. Only very few celaenops are field collected under rocks, usually from April through May. My wife Marla caught a gravid female under a rock near San Angelo in mid-May, and my dad and brother caught two males in the same area on April 1. All were collected under limestone rocks. The primary method of finding celaenops is to find them crossing roads at night or on road cuts.

Celaenops can be nervous and jumpy snakes, although most settle down in captivity quite nicely. One of my wild-caught females calmly accepted a pre-killed fuzzy mouse from my hands only days after capture.

Breeding:

Celaenops require a 3 month brumation period in order to stimulate breeding, much like other temperate species of kingsnakes. Breeding will usually commences shortly after the animals are warmed up. The male will usually bite the female behind the head while copulating, and copulation can occur for an extended period of time (several hours). A clutch of 2 to 9 eggs will be laid 30-40 days after fertilization. Egg size (and therefore neonate size) depends largely upon the size of the female. Incubation usually takes about 60 days at 82 degrees Farhenheit.

Range:

This subspecies is found from west-central Texas (Abeline/San Angelo areas) west through the Trans Pecos of Texas and throughout much of New Mexico, including the eastern plains of New Mexico and the Mesilla Valley. Scattered records exist for much of New Mexico, and the exact range of this subspecies is not well defined. Celaenops probably also extends into northern Mexico; however, no records for this subspecies exist for that country.

Specimens from San Angelo and Abeline have been considered by many authorities to be either annulata or annulata/gentilis intergrades. The ten specimens from this region that I have examined all appear to be much closer to celaenops than any other form. Celaenops intergrades with gentilis throughout the center of the Texas Panhandle. Records of celaenops from extreme northwestern New Mexico are considered to be taylori/celaenops intergrades. Recent specimens of milksnake collected in extreme southwestern New Mexico and southeaster Arizona are not identifiable to any subspecies; they may represent populations of celaenops or an entirely new subspecies.

Habitat:

Celaenops seems to prefer rocky grassland habitats throughout its range, although it ranges up into the pinyon/juniper region of Texas' and New Mexico's mountains, and down Chihuahuan thornscrub along the Rio Grande from Lozier Canyon to Presidio County, Texas. It is also common in sandy deserts of the northeastern Trans-Pecos of Texas and eastern New Mexico. In rocky areas, it is found primarily on limestone and igneous substrates.

Prey:

Most wild celaenops probably eat mostly lizards: Skinks (Eumeces), Fence Lizards (Sceloporus, Uta, and Urosaurus), earless lizards (Cophosaurus, Holbrookia), and whiptails (Cnemidophorus). Small snakes (Tantilla, Sonora, and Leptotyphlops) are also eaten, as are small mice (Perognathus, Chaetodipus, and Peromyscus). In captivity, juveniles can usually be started easily on meals of lizard-scented pinks, and can usually be switched to unscented mice in short order. Wild caught adults typically feed readily on pre-killed lab mice (fuzzies or small weanlings).
Literature Cited:

Conant, R. and J.T. Collins. 1991. Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern/Central North America. Houghton Mifflin, Co., Boston.

Deghenhart, W.G., C.W. Painter, and A.H. Price. 1996. Amphibians and Reptiles of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

Williams, K.L. 1988. Systematics and natural history of the American milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum), 2nd revised edition . Milwaukee Public Museum.


Photo by Troy Hibbitts
Click to Enlarge

Photo by Troy Hibbitts
Click to Enlarge

Gallery Photo by alterna63
Click to Enlarge

Gallery Photo by coils
Click to Enlarge

Gallery Photo by Jeff Barringer
Click to Enlarge

Gallery Photo by John Fraser
Click to Enlarge

Photo by Patton
Click to Enlarge

Photo by Samantha Bottoms
Click to Enlarge
Sponsored Link
Click here for LLL Reptile & Supply
advertise here
New & Updated Business Listings
Looking for a reptile or amphibian related business? A reptile store, breeder, importer, maunfacturer or supplier? Our business directory lists some of the most popluar herp businesses in the world.
Locate a reptile or amphibian business by name:
New
• Mouse Works LLC
• Zeigler Animal Feeds
• Tampa Snakes - Carpet Pytho...
• The Big Cheese Rodent Facto...
• Florida Iguana & Tortoise B...
• ReptiLinks
• Reptiles at the York Expo
• York County Reptile Show
• LLLReptile and Supply Las V...
• Eublah Exotics
Updated
• Tampa Snakes - Carpet Pytho...
• Florida Iguana & Tortoise B...
• Mouse Works LLC
• ReptiLinks
• The Big Cheese Rodent Facto...
• Nature Zone Herp Products
• Northwest Zoological Supply
• LLLReptile and Supply San D...
• LLLReptile and Supply Menif...
• LLLReptile and Supply Las V...
list your business on kingsnake.com

Recent Milk Snake Forum Forum Posts
• Splotched Sinaloan Variety, posted by bslugger551
• Splotched/Bullseye Sinaloans, posted by bslugger551
• Is my milk snake is getting TOO HOT?, posted by darbellah
• New owner looking for advice, posted by Irishfran
• New adoption biting and chewing fingers, posted by ajcur17
• Help*** Our milksnake won’t eat., posted by KieranSnake
• "trouble" with my milk snake, posted by kedjkd
• L. annulata (Mexican Milk) temps, posted by JJJ
• Nice neonate clutch..., posted by DavesterII
• Wanted: Vivid Reptile Line Hondurans, posted by VigorStu
• Hypo Honduran Comparison, posted by bslugger551
• Babies from this year, posted by bslugger551
• Vanishing pattern question, posted by bslugger551
• Putting feelers out for rehoming 2 milks, posted by cshaner15
• Milk Snake in the marylebone, posted by quickessayhelp

Recent Milk Snake Classifieds:
- 11 Black Milks 2021
- 11 Stuarts Milk 2021
- Apricot Pueblan Milk Sna...
- Female Juvenile Albino S...
- 2021 Pueblan Milksnake f...
- 11 Pueblan milks young a...
- 2021 Pueblan Milksnake M...
- 2021 Sinaloan Milksnake ...
- 2021 Jaw Bone California...
- 2021 Russell KS locality...
- 2021 Russell KS locality...
- 2021 Russell KS locality...
- 2019 Pueblan Milksnake M...
- Tangerine Honduran Milk ...
- Ghost Honduran Milk Snak...

Banner Pool
click here for floridaiguana.com
$100.year special flat rate banner! - click for info

Reptile & Amphibian Events
Expos, club meetings, symposiums, and other events are great places to network with other herpers. Check out the detailed or state by state event lists by clicking here!.
Submit a non-profit event - Purchase a commercial listing