Eastern Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum)

Description: This is a slender, smooth scaled snake with reddish or brown blotches on a gray or tan background color. There is usually a light "Y" or "V" shaped marking just behind the head. The belly is white with a black checkerboard pattern. Adult length: 2 to 4 feet.

Eastern Milk Snake
Photo © Jim Harding

Habitat and Habits: Milk snakes occur in woods, fields, marshes, farmlands, and suburbs. They normally stay out of sight, often hiding under boards and trash near buildings. Despite their name, these snakes do not (and could not) milk cows, but will seek mice and rats in and around farm buildings. They also eat other reptiles. These snakes are harmless to humans, though they may vibrate their tails and bite if cornered or handled.

Reproduction: From 6 to 20 eggs are laid in June. The brightly colored young hatch in late summer.

Range and Status: Milk snakes are fairly common throughout the Lower Peninsula, but are rare in the Upper Peninsula.

Related Documents
Eastern Milk Snake Occurrences Map PDF icon