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Eastern Milk Snake

Eastern Milk Snake
Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum

Image of eastern milk snakeDescription

A slender, smooth-scaled snake with reddish or brown blotches on a gray or tan background. There is usually a light "Y" or "V" shaped mark just behind the head. The belly is white with a black checkerboard pattern.

Adult Length:

2 to 4 feet.

Habitat and Habits

Milk Snakes occur in woods, fields, marshes, farmlands, and suburbs. They normally stay out of sight, under objects or underground. These snakes do not (and could not) milk cows, but will seek mice and other rodents in and around farm buildings. They also eat other reptiles. Harmless to humans, though they may vibrate their tails and bite if cornered or handled.


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

Range and Status

Milk Snakes are locally common (but secretive) throughout the Lower Peninsula, but are rare in the Upper Peninsula.


James Harding
MSU Museum
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 353-7978