ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Hillbilly Guide to Snakes: Mexican Milk Snake

Updated on July 31, 2012
Mexican milk snake. Public Domain.
Mexican milk snake. Public Domain. | Source

Lampropeltis Triangulum Annulata... The Mexican Milk Snake


Often mistaken as a coral snake, the Mexican milk snake is a harmless member of the kingsnake family that is actually immune to some venomous snakes.

Appearance


'Black to red, friendly Fred.

Red to yellow, killing fellow.'

That is the saying I grew up hearing in regard to milk snakes and coral snakes. There are a ton of variations of that old saying, but they all refer to the same thing. Harmless milk snakes look very similar to venomous coral snakes and boast the same colors. However they are slightly different. The milk snake's color pattern goes black to yellow, yellow to black, black to red. The coral snake on the other hand goes black to yellow, yellow to red, red to yellow, yellow to black. To put this more simply, the milk snake's red touches black, while on the coral snake the red touches yellow.

The Mexican milk snake usually has a black head. The color pattern starts right at the neck with small yellow bands, followed by short black bands, then large red bands.

Adult Mexican milk snakes average between 25 and 30 inches in length.

What kind of snake am I?
What kind of snake am I?

Question 1

Is the snake pictured above a Mexican milk snake or a coral snake? Answers at the bottom.

See results

Habitat


Appropriate to it's name, the Mexican milk snake is native to north eastern Mexico and southern to central Texas.

Mexican milk snakes are typically creatures of the night and generally remain in hiding throughout the day. They can be found in arid prairies, grasslands, and brushy areas.

Photographer: LA Dawson Animal courtesy of Austin Reptile Service. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
Photographer: LA Dawson Animal courtesy of Austin Reptile Service. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Food


Mexican milk snakes primarily eat rodents and lizards, but will eat other snakes, frogs, or take advantage of other food opportunities that present themselves. Members of the kingsnake family aren't known for being picky eaters, but in the case of the Mexican milk snake their habitat most likely provides them more encounters with rodents and lizards. Like other members of the kingsnake family, Mexican milk snakes are immune to the venom of local pit vipers. In other words a Mexican milk snake can eat a rattlesnake without having to fear it's venom.

What kind of snake am I?  Photo by By steven selverston (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
What kind of snake am I? Photo by By steven selverston (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Question 2

Is the snake pictured above a Mexican milk snake or a coral snake? Answers at the bottom

See results

Interactions With Humans


Mexican milk snakes are known for being fairly docile even out in the wild. When threatened however they may release a smelly musk to scare predators away, or may bite if they feel their life is in danger. That said they are known as one of the more unlikely kingsnake species to behave this way.

They are also known for acclimating to captivity fairly easily, and are a common snake in the pet trade.

Mexican milk snake. Public Domain.
Mexican milk snake. Public Domain.

Answers

Question 1: Coral Snake... Red to yellow, killing fellow.

Question 2: Mexican Milk Snake... Black to red, friendly Fred.

Feel free to leave your results and/or why you decided on them in the comments section below!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Phillbert profile imageAUTHOR

      Phillip Drayer Duncan 

      5 years ago from The Ozarks

      No problem! Thanks for the comment SonQuioey!

    • SonQuioey10 profile image

      Toni Northern 

      5 years ago from Williamston NC

      Good to know. I thought the coral snake was dominantly that color. Thanks for the distinction between the two.

    • profile image

      david 

      5 years ago

      milksnake are one of the coolst snakes ever and i love corlsnakes but if keeped vemmons reptiles i will keep a corl snake but i what to breed milksnakes

    • profile image

      u turn 

      5 years ago

      Hey hillbilly. Sat by one of these once. Coral

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)