Lampropeltis triangulum — Eastern Milksnake
Lampropeltis triangulum was redefined by Ruane et al in 2014. With this new definition, it includes no subspecies.
A brightly colored milksnake like this one is among the country's most beautiful serpents.
This group of snakes got its English name from a nonsensical old belief that blamed some the reduced milk production of some cows on the idea that the barn-dwelling snakes were drinking milk when nobody was looking. In reality, of course, the snakes dwelt in the barns because of all the rodents that also dwelt there.
At the same spot where we dug up my (and Matt Cage's) first foxsnake, we got a bonus prize with this friendly milksnake. You can tell it's friendly because it has a heart tattoo on the back of its neck.
Later in the day we visited another good milksnake spot, and found (surprise!) a few more milksnakes. Note how much more colorful the youngster is compared to the oldster.
- Lampropeltis triangulum account on The Reptile Database
- Ruane, Sara; Robert W. Bryson, Jr., R. Alexander Pyron, and Frank T. Burbrink 2014. Coalescent Species Delimitation in Milksnakes (genus Lampropeltis) and Impacts on Phylogenetic Comparative Analyses. Systematic Biology 63 (2): 231-250
- Conant, R., Collins, J. T. 1998. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Third Edition, expanded
- Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2017. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, Eighth Edition