Conservation status: IUCN – LC (Least concern)
Geographic range: Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia.
Physical description: This small, colourful snake species grows to between 35 and 130 cm in length. There are 24 subspecies and all of them have different colour variations. The milk snake’s appearance is very similar to another very poisonous snake species, the coral snake. Typical colour variations include red, black and yellow striped or white, black, red striped.
Biology: They are solitary snakes which can only be found in groups before the winter. They are nocturnal animals, usually hiding under fallen trees or in the wet fallen leaves. These snakes are quite resistant to hot weather. When other snakes are hiding from the heat, these species are enjoying it. They lay their eggs in late spring or early summer in old fallen trees or in humus. They lay anywhere between 2 and 17 eggs in one batch, but usually they lay about 10 eggs. The juveniles’ scales are very bright and they are fully mature at 3-4 years old.
Lifespan: Up to 21 years.
Food habits: Birds, small vertebrates, reptiles, eggs.