Species of the Week: The Eastern Milksnake

Photo by Simon Lunn

This week’s featured #SpeciesOfTheWeek is the Eastern Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum). This species of snake inhabits a wide variety of habitats including rocky outcrops, forests, meadows, and pastures, and can occasionally be found here in the park along the trails or even inside buildings like the McParlan House. As adults, milksnakes typically reach 60-90cm in length, with reddish-brown blotches outlined in black along their beige backs. A little more timid than Grey Ratsnakes, milksnakes will often try to escape when approached, and may even vibrate their tails, hiss, or strike when they feel threatened – though they do not actually have rattles and are non-venomous of course. As you may have wondered, the name “milksnake” comes from an old fable about the snakes sucking cow udders to get milk. While this story is total fiction, as they are physically incapable of such abilities, milksnakes are often found in barns as they enjoy the dark and cool environment, as well as the abundance of rodents that make for a convenient food supply.

This entry was posted in Friends of Murphys Point, Murphys Point, Murphys Point Provincial Park, Species of the Week. Bookmark the permalink.

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