Eastern Milksnake

Milk Snake Photo Credit: Scott Gillingwater

Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum

Status:

  • COSEWIC – Special concern.
  • COSSARO – Special concern.

Description:

  • Slender and sleek looking snake. Adults are 61 to 90 cm (24 to 35 in.).
  • Greyish background colour with reddish blotches bordered in black along its back and sides. Most will have a light coloured V or Y shape on the top of their head.
  • Smooth scales (not keeled) add to its smooth appearance.

Habitat:

  • May be found in open forest, field and wetland habitat. Often found around farmhouses, barns, sheds and woodpiles.

Food:

  • Food consists mostly of small mammals, although they may also feed on small birds and eggs.
  • They will kill larger prey by constriction.

Milk Snake Photo Credit: Gary Allen

Habits:

  • Hibernate in mammal burrows, rock cervices and house foundations, often communally (with other snakes) and emerge in mid-April.
  • Typically remain undercover throughout the day and are active at night (nocturnal).
  • Return to their hibernation sites by October.
  • Lives on average 7-10 years.

Reproduction:

  • Mate in early spring, and lay 6-20 eggs in late June or early July under rotting logs and leaf litter;
  • Maturity is reached after 4 years.

Threats:

  • Habitat loss, road mortality and direct persecution are the greatest threats to this snake.

Did you know?

  • The Eastern Milksnake will vibrate its tail to make a rattle like sound as part of its defence.

For more information on the Eastern Milksnake: www.rom.on.ca/ontario/risk.php?doc_type=fact&lang=&id=291

For more information in Parry Sound District, please contact:

Ecologist
Georgian Bay Islands National Park
901 Wye Valley Road
Midland, ON
L4R 4K6
705-526-9804

SAR Biologist
Parry Sound OMNR
7 Bay St.
Parry Sound
P2A 1S4
705-746-4201