Lampropeltis annulata

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Scientific name Lampropeltis annulata (KENNICOT, 1861)
English name Mexican Milksnake
Distribution Hidalgo, Potosi, eastern San Luis, Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Querétaro and possible also in Coahuila (Mexico)

Southern Texas (USA)

Habitat Lives mainly in fairly dry, sandy areas with bushes. But it is also found in open grasslands.



This species was described for the first time in 1861. Kennicot named it L. annulata.

In 1983 Quinn described this snake as a subspecies of L. triangulum (L. t. dixoni).

In 1991 it was changed again; it became L. t. annulata.

But, in 2014 Ruane e.a. gave it back the status of species, based on DNA research: L. annulata. Read the article if you want more info about this…


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


This species is, on average, a bit shorter in length and more firmly built than most other milk snakes. Adult specimen reach a length of 60 – 75 cm.

This species is usually active during the nightly hours, but also in the dusk.

One and another depends on the height of the temperature in their habitat. During the day they usually hide in burrows of rodents or under tree stumps etc. Occasionally they also are seen sunning during the day. This sunbathing is usually of short duration.

Their most active periods are spring and autumn.

Copulations are often seen during rainy evenings in spring. After about 50 days the female lays up to 10 eggs. The young hatch after approximately 2 months. At birth, the young are 15-17 cm in length.

In the wild L. annulata mainly eats rodents and lizards, but sometimes also snakes. But, as is true for the most king- and milk snakes, they basically eat everything they can overpower and is not be too big.

In the terrarium, Mexican milk snakes are usually calm snakes that will not bite quickly or empty their anal glands.

They adapt easily to “life in captivity”. In spite of the calm character and beautiful appearance, you do not see them as often as pets, compared to other milk snake species.