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Eastern Milk Snake
Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum

Size:
  • Hatchling: 6 - 8 in.
  • Adult: 14 - 20 in.(normal) 52 in.(record)

Scalation:
  • Dorsal: 21 rows
  • Ventral: 182 - 214
  • Sub caudal: 35 - 54
  • Infra labial: 7 - 11
  • Supra labial: 7 - 8
  • Anal Plate: Single

Photo courtesy Troy Hibbitts
click to enlarge

Written by Clint Gilders

Coloration
The Eastern Milk Snake is most often some shade of Gray, ranging from light silver to almost brown, with the pattern saddles some shade of brown occasionally leaning toward red in southern populations.

Head:
Consists of a darkbrown forward pointing arrowhead pattern on the head similair to that which is seen in the Corn Snake, Elaphe guttata guttata, on a light gray background.

Dorsal:
There are dorsal saddles(blotches) which are roughly square running the length of the body as well as lateral and sometimes ventro-lateral blotches down the length of the body. All in all the pattern and coloration of the Eastern Milk Snake is very reminscent of the juvenile phase of many of the Elaphe obsoleta complex.

Ventral:
Black on white checkerboard pattern, in an irregular fashion.

Range:
The Eastern Milk Snake inhabits a large part of the Central East Coast of North America. The Range encompasses an area From Maine eastward through Ontario to Minnesota, and then southward to Alabama and North Corolina. It is in North Corolina that the Eastern Milk Snake is believed to integrade with the Scarlet King Snake , Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides. This integrade is often referred to as the Coastal Plains Milk Snake.

Habitat:
The Eastern Milk Snake Seems to be a generalist in habitat preferance. They have been recorded in feilds, forests, and rocky areas. The one habitat preferance I have noticed is that in Canada they are not often found in wet areas such as swamps. In areas where I find large numbers of Northern Water Snakes, Nerodia sipedon, and Ribbon Snakes, Thamnophis sauritus septentyrionalis, I rarely encounter Eastern Milk Snakes.

Prey:
In the wild Eastern Milk Snakes feed on rodents, birds, lizards, and possibly amphibians. The adult specimens I have captured have fed readily on live Hopper (15-20 day old) Mice which were eaither left in the cage or offered with forceps. The hatchlings I have Captured have been very reluctant to feed on domestic Mice and have required force/assist feeding for long periods.

Behavior:

Breeding:

Literature Cited:
Behler and King 1992, The Audubon Society Field Guide

Conant and Collins 1991, The Peterson Field Guide


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