There are 24 unique subspecies of milk snakes out there for you to choose from. They come in all different sizes and colors.
Are you trying to pick the perfect milk snake pet?
Then take a look at this article, where we will fill you in on the color patterns and most interesting traits of highly sort-after milk snakes.
Some different types of milk snakes that make good pets are Eastern milk snakes, Mexican milk snakes, Honduran milk snakes, Black milk snakes, Pueblan milk snakes, and Red milk snakes. Milk snakes are easy to feed and are docile. They are not venomous snakes.
Not sure which milk snake will make the best pet for you?
Then check out our in-depth milk snake guide that will go through the most popular specimens one by one and help you make the best choice.
Table of Contents
Types of Milk Snakes
So, you want to choose a milk snake as your next pet. That’s fantastic because these snakes are non-venomous and easy to look after.
But there are 24 different subspecies of milk snakes to choose from.
How can you decide between the 24 which will be the best milk snake for you?
Coming up next, we’ll go into detail about some of the most common milk snake subspecies to help you decide.
Let’s slide right to it.
Eastern Milk Snake
We’ll start the ball rolling by looking at one of the most common milk snake pets.
The Eastern milk snake is often bred in captivity to fill the demand for this popular pet snake. It has a docile nature and rarely bites.
Eastern milk snakes have shiny scales and a black and white checkered pattern on their underbelly. On top of them are brown or reddy-brown blotches with black borders.
The main body of the Eastern milk snake is gray or light brown.
Mexican Milk Snake
Not a fan of big snakes? Then you’ll like this one.
Mexican milk snakes are also in high demand as they adapt well to life in captivity. They are small compared to other milk snakes, so they are easier to look after.
The Mexican milk snake catches the eye of reptile lovers because of its bright colors. It has eye-catching red, black, cream or yellow bands running across it.
Red Milk Snake
Want a snake that stands out? Then you’ll love this one.
Red milk snakes are easy to get hold of in North America as they are indigenous to the Central US.
Red milk snakes are reddy brown to gray-brown with white, gray, cream, or tan alternating bands that overlap the main body color. They have black and white checkered patterns on their underbelly.
The red milk snake is popular because it is a brightly colored snake with a mostly red head and a black and white snout.
Louisiana Milk Snake
This slender snake might look scary, but it’s harmless.
You’ll find the Louisiana milk snake in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
This is a non-venomous species that looks just like the venomous coral snake because of its black, red, and yellow color pattern. The color pattern for this harmless milk snake goes in the order of black-red-black-yellow-black.
Louisiana milk snakes have pointy black heads that distinguish them from some of the other snakes in this subspecies.
Utah Milk Snake
Here’s another coral snake lookalike. Check it out.
Utah milk snakes are brightly colored snakes that resemble dangerous coral snakes because of their triple color patterns.
The Utah milk snake is black, red, or orange, and white or yellow. It makes a quiet pet as it is nocturnal and most active at night.
Honduran Milk Snake
How do you fancy a really big pet snake?
The Honduran milk snake is one of the larger members of the milk snake species. It can measure up to 5 feet.
Honduran milk snakes are easy to look after and display attractive colors. They have red bodies with black and orange or yellow bands.
Jalisco Milk Snake
Would you like a snake that’s colored like a delicate work of art?
Jalisco milk snakes make beautiful additions to the pet trade collection. Their typical color pattern is red all over with a black head and red rings.
Pet owners love these snakes because of their smooth and shiny scales.
Black Milk Snake
How about a snake that changes color?
If you would like a large reptile, this is the one for you, as the black milk snake is the largest in this subspecies. It measures an impressive 4 to 6 feet, but some measure up to 7 feet.
Black milk snakes are red, white, or yellow, and black when they are still young snakes. It is only when the snakes are adults that they turn completely black.
Pueblan Milk Snake
Here’s a milk snake that is easy to win over.
Pueblan milk snakes tame well when you handle them regularly in captivity. If your pet sees you as a threat, it can let off a pungent odor to defend itself and ward you off.
The Pueblan milk snake is a tri-color snake with red, black, and white bands running across it. Because of this pattern, these snakes tend to be mistaken for dangerous coral snakes.
Guatemalan Milk Snake
Here’s one that’s trickier to get hold of but well worth the search.
Guatemalan milk snakes typically live in the forests of countries in Central America, such as Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.
Guatemalan milk snakes are not as easy to get hold of as other milk snake types. But many people admire them because of their deep red bodies and their yellow and black bands.
Andean Milk Snake
Did you say the bigger the better?
Then you’ll love Andean milk snakes. They are some of the largest snakes in this subspecies and measure up to 6 feet long.
These milk snakes are not only huge, but they are also beautiful, with red, black, and yellow stripes.
Sinaloan Milk Snake
Don’t mind a stinky one?
Then you’ll be fond of the Sinaloan milk snake. This snake can let off a pungent odor as a sort of defense mechanism when it feels threatened.
But this snake is completely harmless and rarely bites.
Sinaloan milk snakes have red bodies with thin white and black bands running across them.
Ecuadorian Milk Snake
Fancy one you’ll find in tropical populations?
You’ll see Ecuadorian milk snakes living in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama. Just like all the snakes in this subspecies, these are nonvenomous snakes.
They have red, white, and black bands, similar to the banding on coral snakes.
Stuart’s Milk Snake
Here’s one you’ll need a strong cage for!
Stuart’s milk snakes do well as pets when you give them the care they need.
They are attractive snakes and have bright red, black, and yellow bands. They have black snouts with a white v-shaped band on the top of the snout that helps to distinguish these snakes from other milk snakes.
These snakes are known to be quite determined when it comes to trying to break out of their enclosures, so make sure you put this one in a solid terrarium.
Nelson’s Milk Snake
If you’d like an albino milk snake, there are some pretty awesome ones here.
Nelson’s milk snakes make good pets because they are easy to feed. They eat birds, small rodents, amphibians, and even other snakes in the wild.
The Nelson’s milk snake comes in vibrant colors, and there are even some albino snakes that are just red with white bands. Non-albino snakes are normally red, black, and white with dark snouts.
Fun Facts About Different Types of Milk Snakes
There are 24 subspecies of milk snakes, each with a different color pattern and range around Central, North, and South America.
Are you ready to find out some of the most interesting facts about the different types of milk snakes?
Then check out our intriguing fact file coming up next.
Great General Facts About Milk Snakes
- Milk snakes got the name “milk” from an old folktale. The folktale said milk snakes were found drinking milk directly from cow udders. But this is completely impossible as they could not physically do this.
- Milk snakes have tiny teeth, but they do not have fangs. A bite from a milk snake will not be too painful.
- They lay their eggs in rotting vegetation and under logs, where they will go undetected by predators. The eggs incubate for 2 months before they hatch.
- Milk snakes are generally solitary animals. They only come together to mate, and the female will abandon her eggs after she lays them.
Fascinating Facts About Different Types of Milk Snakes
- The pale milk snake is very rare. Its name is the “pale milk snake” because the colors on its body are more washed out in comparison with other milk snakes. While it is young, it has brighter colors that fade as the pale milk snake gets older.
- The Central Plains milk snake likes to live under limestone rocks and around sandstones and high plains. You will also find them on prairie hillsides.
- The Central Plains milk snake has red rings, the red varying from dull to bright orange, almost brown, and bright red. But there are some extremely rare specimens that do not have any red bands at all.
- The New Mexico milk snake has a varied habitat. It likes to live in grasslands, sandy deserts, and rocky areas where there is limestone. You’ll also spot the New Mexico milk snake living near the mountains in New Mexico.
- In the wild, the red milk snake will often live close to ringnecks and worm snakes.
- The scarlet kingsnake was formerly recognized as the 25th subspecies of milk snake. But it is now considered a separate species of snake.
Milk Snake FAQs
Let’s get to know some of the 24 subspecies of milk snakes better with the help of the following frequently asked questions.
What Is the Largest Milk Snake Breed?
The black milk snake is the largest milk snake breed. It usually measures between 4 and 6 feet, but some measure more than 7 feet in length.
Andean milk snakes and Honduran milk snakes are also among the largest types of milk snakes.
Do Milk Snakes Hibernate?
Most milk snakes spend the winters brumating underground. When the temperatures begin to rise, they come out of hiding.
They usually come out of brumation in the spring when it is time to start looking for a mate.
What Do Wild Milk Snakes Eat?
Most wild milk snakes are nocturnal hunters. They constrict their prey to make their hearts stop from the interruption of blood flow and then swallow their prey whole.
In the wild, milk snakes eat small mammals, birds, bird eggs, lizards, frogs, other snakes (including venomous snakes), rodents, and invertebrates.
Which Milk Snake Breed Is the Smallest?
New Mexico milk snakes are some of the smallest milk snake breeds. They measure just 1.5 feet long.
These snakes are ideal for those who love reptiles but do not have a lot of space to house them.
Choosing the Right Milk Snake Subspecies
There are 24 recognized subspecies all in varying colors, lengths, and originating from different areas. That’s why it is so tricky to decide which one will be right for you.
Thanks to this article, we have seen that milk snakes are timid reptiles that are most active at night. They are not aggressive and are easy to feed, which is why any milk snake will make a great pet.
Did you find this article interesting?
At Oddly Cute Pets, we always strive to provide you with the best articles about milk snakes that are bred in captivity and make awesome pets. For more guides on what to feed your milk snake, where to house it, and how to look after it, take a look at our website.
Thanks for reading!