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Mexican Milk Snake

Lampropeltis triangulum annulata

Family:

Colubridae, the colubrid snake family.

Conservation Status:

None.

Distribution:

Northeastern Mexico and southern Texas.

Habitat:

Semi arid thorn scrub and desert.

Factoid:

A myth about milk snakes is that they suck cow udders to get milk, which is entirely false as they do not have the physical capabilities to do this. They are, however, frequently found in and around dairy barns, in their cool, dark environments, where they find plenty of rodents to hunt, which is what probably gave rise to the myth.

These snakes have broad, dark red bands bordered by black rings containing pale yellow bands. Some black speckling may occur along the spine. Their heads are almost entirely black and their ventral surfaces are pale with black blotches. Their scales are smooth and glossy.

They are generally nocturnal and prefer to hide when temperatures are high, becoming most active in the spring and fall.

Their diet consists mainly of rodents and lizards, but they will sometimes eat other snakes. Many predators, including birds of prey, feed on young snakes.

Breeding occurs on rainy spring evenings and approximately 50 days later, females will lay 4-10 eggs which take 55-60 days to incubate. Newborns are around 6-7″ long.

They have no eyelids but instead have transparent coverings that rest over their eyes, called brilles, to protect them from dust and dirt. These brilles give them a “glassy-eyed” blank appearance.

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