Honduran Milk Snake
Lampropeltis triangulum hondurenss
They closely resemble the venomous coral snake which can be found in most of the milk snake’s range. The easiest way to tell the difference between a venomous coral snake and a non-venomous milk snake is by looking at the color bands. On a coral snake, the red bands are bordered by yellow bands, while the milk snake’s red bands are bordered by black bands. This is easy to remember with the following rhyme:
Red next to yellow kill a fellow.
Red next to black, venom lack.
The Honduran Milk Snake is native to Central America. They can be found in low elevations in the tropical forests of Nicaragua, Honduras and parts of Costa Rica. They are one of the larger milk snakes and can reach lengths of up to 5 feet. They are quite beautiful in color with tan to yellow and black bands on a red background. These bright colors are “warning colors” as animals possessing them are often venomous or inedible. In the case of the milk snakes, the coloration is considered “mimicry” as they are not venomous.
There are many different species of milk snakes inhabiting much of North, Central and South America. Many varieties are frequently found on farmland and around barns. At one time it was believed that they were there stealing milk from the cows and they were often killed. This is not the case, however, as they do not drink milk, but instead eat a variety of rodents, insects, lizards, and other snakes. Their prevalence on farms is most likely due to the abundance of mice and rats that can often be found in and around barns. Milk snakes are constrictors and kill their prey by wrapping them up and squeezing them till they suffocate. They then swallow their prey whole. Many species of milk snake are kept as pets. Most breed readily in captivity, are attractively colored and have reasonably calm dispositions. Milk snakes can live 15 years or more.
For information on the Eastern Milk Snake, Click Here.