Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides

Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides (*
Pueblan Milk Snake

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Lampropeltis
Species: L. triangulum
Subspecies: L. t. sinaloae
Trinomial name
Lampropeltis triangulum sinaloae
Williams, 1978

The Sinaloan milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum sinaloae) is an egg laying species of non-venomous colubrid snake. It is one of the most commonly bred milk snakes in captivity. It is a fairly docile species and will rarely bite. If handled, it will discharge a pungent smelling exudate from the cloaca as a warning. The Sinaloan milk snake inhabits the rocky and semi-arid drylands of Southwest Sonora, Sinaloa, southwest Chihuahua (Mexico).

Description

The Sinaloan milk snake is predominantly blood red with distinct rings or bands of black which have thinner cream-colored or yellowish bands within the black bands. The red rings are bordered near the edge of the ventrals by black pigment, leaving the center of the triad (on the ventral side) with a creamy white. The Sinaloan milk snake is easily distinguished from other subspecies because of the very broad bands of red which are wider than in most other subspecies (three times the width of the black bands). The head is black with a thin yellowish or cream-colored band just behind the eyes across the top of the head. The belly is yellowish or creamy white. Fully grown adults can reach a length of approx. 120 cm. or more in some cases. Like other milk snakes, the Sinaloan milk snake is very agile. It is not an aggressive snake and will normally very rarely bite.

Habitat

The Sinaloan milk snake inhabits the dry, arid and rocky (semi-desert) regions in southwest Sonora, Sinaloa and southwest Chihuahua (Mexico) with sparse vegetation. They are often found during the day resting beneath loose rocks, in rock crevices or beneath cactus plants. In areas close to urbanization, they are also found in old barns and under piles of wood. Like other milk snakes, the Sinaloan milk snake is nocturnal and feeds after dark and at night. Milk Snakes are much more opportunistic eaters than the fox snake or corn snake. They have been known to consume a variety of animals including rodents, eggs, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. Nevertheless the diet of an adult milk snake still primarily consists of rodents.

Reproduction

The Sinaloan milk snake mates from early May to late June, sometimes twice a year. The brumation period is between November to February. The female lays an average of 5-15 elongated eggs beneath rotting wood, boards, rocks and rotting vegetation. The eggs hatch after about 60 days. Like other members of the king snake family, the Sinaloan milk snake sometimes eats other snakes, and does have at least some immunity to their venom.

General

A common myth about the milk snake is that they suck cow udders to get the milk. The myth is entirely false. The milk snake does not have the physical capabilities to suck milk out of a cow. Milk snakes are, however, frequently found in and around barns, making use of their cool and dark environments, and for the easily accessed populations of rodents to feed on. This proximity to barns, and therefore cows, gave rise to the myth.


References

* Species Lampropeltis triangulum at The Reptile Database

External links

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/"
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