Squamata

Field Guide to Maryland's Snakes (Order Squamata)


Family Colubridae

Eastern Milksnake

Common Name:

Eastern Milksnake


Scientific Name:

Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum

Photo of Eastern Milksnake courtesy of John White
Photo of Eastern Milksnake courtesy of John White​


Size:
24 inches – 36 inches. Record: 52 inches.

Appearance:
  • This slender snake has a ground color of tan to light brown with 32 or more broad red with black-bordered blotches down the body in three or five rows.
  • At the nape of the neck, there is a grey or tan Y-, V-, U, or A- shaped patch.
  • The belly has a black-and-white checkerboard pattern.
  • Scales are not keeled.

Close-up Photo of Eastern Milksnake courtesy of Scott A. Smith
Close-up Photo of Eastern Milksnake courtesy of Scott A. Smith


Habitats:

Will utilize a variety of habitats. In higher elevations may be found in deciduous and mixed forests, grassy hillsides, and rocky outcrops. In lower elevations, they prefer wooded areas, open fields, powerline rights-of-way, and around human habitation.

Photo of Habitat for Eastern Milksnake courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
Photo of Habitat for Eastern Milksnake courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers


How to Find:

Primarily nocturnal and burrowing so may be difficult to find. This snake may be found during the day under rocks, logs or boards or other cover. Known for showing up around barns and out buildings when mice are plentiful. Non-venomous.


Distribution in Maryland:

Found from the Fall Line (roughly I-95) west through the Piedmont and mountain regions.​

Eastern Milksnake - Distribution in Maryland