- Common Name
- Honduran milksnake
- Genus Species
- Lampropeltis (shining, beautiful scales) triangulum (three colors) hondurensis (coming from Honduras); occurs in several color morphs
- Narrow bodied snake; black and red banded
- 150 cm (5 ft.)
- Average 1270 g (2.77 lbs.)
- Small mammals, eggs, and other reptiles including snakes
- 10 weeks
Clutch Size: 3-24 eggs
- Sexual Maturity
- 3-12 years
- Life Span
- 20 years
- Nicaragua, Northeastern Costa Rica, Caribbean slope of Honduras
- Leaf litter in rainforests
- Global: No data
- IUCN: No data
CITES: Not listed
USFWS: Not listed
- Like many reptiles, the incubation temperature of their eggs may determine the offsprings' sex; warmer temperatures usually create males while cool temperatures create females.
- These snakes are known for their imitation of the markings and behavior of the venomous coral snake. By such mimicry, they lead potential predators to believe they are dealing with a dangerous animals, and are thus left alone.
- Milksnakes use quick, jerky movements so that their bands flash, startling predators. Their bright colors signal danger and often confuse predators, making these snakes hard to follow.
- Milksnakes are known for eating other snakes.
- Milksnakes have one of the widest distributions of any snake in the Americas.
- They get their name from an old belief that it drinks milk from the udders of cows. This myth probably arose because they were commonly spotted in barns and stables, where there is a concentration of rodents.
Ecology and Conservation
Many other important predators like birds-of-prey feed on young snakes. This means that snakes fulfill roles as both predators and prey in regional food chains. Milksnakes are also valuable in their role of curbing rodent populations, especially those near human settlement.
Coborn, John. The Atlas of Snakes of the World. New Jersey: T.F.H. Publications, inc. 1991.
Markel, R. and R. D. Bartlette. Kingsnakes and Milksnakes. TFH Publications, Inc. 1990.
Mehrtens, John M. Living Snakes of the World. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., 1987.