STATUS IN THE WILD: Least Concern
RANGE: Central America
PHYSICAL FEATURES AND CHARACTERISTICS
Milk snakes are an excellent example of the use of mimicry. Their contrasting colors of vibrant yellow and red against dark black make a natural warning sign to predators. The highly venomous coral snake uses this same technique to warn other creatures to back off. The milk snake and a few other snake species have adapted similar coloration to the coral snake to trick predators into believing that they are venomous as well, even though they are typically timid and mostly harmless.
They can be distinguished from the coral snake by remembering the saying “Red on black, friend of jack. Red on yellow, deadly fellow.” If the red and yellow bands are touching, WATCH OUT!
LIFESTYLE AND REPRODUCTION
The Sinaloan milk snake mates from early May to late June, sometimes twice a year. The female lays an average of five to 15 elongated eggs beneath rotting wood, boards, rocks and rotting vegetation. The eggs hatch after about 60 days. They typically brumate between November and February.
They prefer dry, arid climates and are often found resting beneath loose rocks, in rock crevices, or beneath cactus plants.
They are found in semi-desert regions in southwest Sonora, Sinaloa and southwestern Chihuahua, Mexico.
They tend to be more opportunistic eaters than other snake species in their family. They have been known to consume a variety of animals, including rodents, eggs, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. However, their diet primarily consists of rodents.