Red Milksnake (Red Milk Snake)

Red Milksnake

Lampropeltis triangulum syspila

This is one of Missouri's most beautifully colored snakes. General body color is white or light tan with red or orange markings bordered with black. The belly is white and strongly checked with black. The red milksnake often is misidentified as a coral snake, which is not found in Missouri. Coral snakes have red bands bordered by yellow. The milksnakes were so named for the myth that they had the ability to nurse milk from cattle.

Length ranges from 21 to 28 inches (53-71 cm).
Habitat and conservation: 
This species lives under rocks on wooded rocky hillsides and cedar glades.
The red milksnake, like other kingsnakes, feeds on lizards, small snakes and small mice, killing its prey by constriction.
Distribution in Missouri: 
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