Milksnake

Milk Snake

(Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum)

Features

  • A non-venomous constrictor snake that grows up to 1m in length
  • A reddish-coloured snake with black-bordered dorsal blotches
  • Dorsal blotches are usually red, but can be brown or green
  • Generally lives near old fields and farm buildings where rodents are common; is more active at night
  • When surprised or threatened, takes an aggressive position where it raises its head in the air and vibrates its tail which can make a buzzing sound in dry leaves

Status

Special Concern Provincially and Nationally

Range

Occurs from Quebec and Maine south to Alabama and Georgia, west to Minnesota and Iowa. Is widespread in Ontario, locally common in the south, ranging as far north as Lake Nipissing and Sault Ste. Marie.

Threats

No historical data exists to assess long term trends, however, due to its aggressive behaviour and tendency to regularly inhabit old buildings has made human persecution a common threat.

Protection

  • Listed as “specially protected species” in Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997, prohibiting hunting or trapping of the species, and prohibiting it to be held in captivity unless special permission is obtained from the Ministry of Natural Resources for purposes of research or conservation management.

References

Royal Ontario Museum: Milksnake

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