Species Description: Milk snakes are medium sized, docile snakes. They attain a length of about 3 ft. (91.4 cm). They have smooth scales and a single anal plate. The dorsal pattern consists of brown or reddish blotches, bordered by black, with alternating small blotches along the sides. The belly is checkered with black and white squares.
Eastern Milk Snake
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photo by Jeff Humphries
Peter's Mtn, Monroe Co., West Virginia
Habitat: Milk snakes are very common in all types of habitat. They can easily be found by turning over rocks on road cuts or by turning boards around old houses and barns. They are most active at night and are often encountered on roads after rain.
Breeding Activity: Milk snakes mate in early spring and lay eggs in June and July. Up to 18 eggs per clutch are deposited in sandy soil or in saw dust piles, incubating for about 6 to 9 weeks.
Range: This snake is common throughout West Virginia. It is often confused with the copperhead and killed, though it is completely harmless.
Comments: Milk snakes will eat other snakes (like most members of the king snake family), though this species feeds mostly on small rodents.
Status: Not listed.