Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Alan D. St. John
Photo Copyright Alan D. St. John

The milksnake, Lampropeltis triangulum, occurs throughout much of central and eastern North America, as well as in northern South America. In Utah, the species occurs only in the central and eastern portions of the state.

The milksnake eats small mammals, small birds, reptiles, and reptile eggs. Females of the species lay a clutch of two to fifteen eggs in mid-summer, and eggs hatch in about two months. The red, black, and white coloration of the milksnake is probably due to mimicry of the venomous coral snake. The coral snake, however, does not occur naturally in Utah. The milksnake is primarily nocturnal, and the species can be found in many types of habitat. The species is active from April to October, hibernating during the cold winter months.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 336 pp.