Pueblan Milk Snake

Pueblan Milk Snake: A To Z About This Strong And Vibrant Snake Of Mexico!

The mountains, rivers, and deserts of Mexico cradle a rich biodiversity. Frogs and lizards of all shapes and sizes have found their home in the arid climate of Mexico. Snakes of all textures and colors are also visible, like different species of garter snakes and milk snakes, False cat-eyed Snake, Central American tree snake, and Mexican lyre snake, to name a few.

Pueblan milk snakes have found their origin in Mexico. Their vibrant appearance and docile nature have won the hearts of many and so they are usually kept as pets. If you’re thinking of getting one too, then keep reading to explore the diet, habitat and other preferences of this amazing serpent! The more you know about a snake, the better!

Pueblan Milk Snake: Appearance, Diet, Habitat, And Much More!

Pueblan milk snakes are some of the prettiest snakes around, and they can be found in various morphs of differing colors and patterns. Before you adopt one, let;s know more about them.

Pueblan Milk Snake Physical Appearance

Source: @louisianamilkdude

What Do Pueblan Milk Snakes Look Like?

The Pueblan snakes share a lot of resemblance to the other milk snake species and subspecies. They also have the infamous and popular red, black and white bands intermittently woven onto their elongated forms. The most common Pueblan milk snakes, which have a very uncommon appearance by the way, possess wide white bands, and thin black and red bands. Pueblan milk snakes may also have an intermittent pattern of white-black-red-black.

The scientific name of Pueblan milk snakes is Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli. The name of the snake has a lot of information hidden inside. The word “Lampropeltis”, with a Greek origin, basically means a “bright shield”, indicating the bright and glistening red-and-white scales of the serpent’s body. The species name “Triangulum” refers to the three colors present on its body.

You might be wondering what the subspecies name “Campbelli” represents? Campbelli comes from the last name of a renowned herpetologist by the name Jonathan Campbell. Pueblan milk snakes are called “Pueblan” for a reason, which is going to be discussed in more detail in the upcoming segments. These beautiful snakes can grow anywhere between 30 and 50 inches.

Pueblan milk snakes may have varieties of color morphs that make them incredibly special to snake lovers, or individuals who are looking to domesticate a snake. Besides the one already described, morphs of the Campbelli subspecies may demonstrate wider black bands with thinner red and white bands. Morphs may also include red-white-black crossbands of uniform thickness. Whichever the morph is, Pueblan milk snakes look incredibly gorgeous.

Pueblan Milk Snakes Habitat Map

Where Can Pueblan Milk Snakes Be Found?

Pueblan milk snakes have such an interesting name! These snakes have been named after the state of Puebla in Mexico where they are found in abundance. The state has a triangular shape and is very close to the states of Oaxaca and Morelos. The mountains and plateaus of Puebla and the winding rivers that run across or around these highlands beautify this state even more.

All these three states of Mexico– Puebla, Morelos and Oaxaca are home to Pueblan milk snakes. The eastern parts of Morelos and the northern segments of Oaxaca contain dense breeding grounds of the subspecies. The semi-arid and arid climate of Mexico is what Pueblan milk snakes are habituated to. Parts of the Sonoran desert are frequented by the snake.

These milk snakes of Puebla are largely crepuscular, meaning they are active at the darkest hours of day, that is, at dusk and at dawn. They are not very friendly with humans and usually wriggle away for cover when perturbed. Pueblan milk snakes are not confrontational at all and will seldom ever bite. Their favorite places are underneath rocks and within burrows.

What Do Pueblan Milk Snakes Eat?

Like all other milk snakes, Pueblan milk snakes are harmless, non-venomous colubrid snakes. They do not have fangs, therefore the aglyphous teeth that they possess do not have a strong biting impact or pressure. They use their uniform shaped aglyphous teeth to take hold of the prey and then constrict them to suffocation by coiling around the prey’s body.

Rodents like mice and rats are at the top of the list of their dietary preferences. They like any habitat in proximity to water sources. They take advantage of being near water and hunt down amphibians and small lizards that live in or near the water bodies. Pueblan milk snakes will occasionally climb trees to attack birds and chicks. Pueblan milk snakes show cannibalistic tendencies and will not think twice at gulping down whole venomous snakes down their throat.

When kept as pets in a household or in an animal reserve, frozen thawed rodents would be the best food item for Pueblan milk snakes. They, like other snakes, are fully carnivorous and must not be fed anything plant-based. Juvenile Pueblans will jump at small pinky mice, while adults would eat fuzzy mice and even fully-grown rats. Gerbils, hamsters, or chicks could also be fed.

How Do Pueblan Milk Snakes Smell And Taste Their Food?

They do have a scary looking forked tongue that they keep pushing out. Snakes do not have taste buds on their tongues like mammals do, but they do have the requirement to smell and taste their food. Snakes do not have a specialized and proper nose like mammals do, but they certainly have chemoreceptors within their nostrils and at the back of their nasal cavity.

These chemoreceptive cells (cells that are sensitive to chemicals in the air) make up what is known as Jacobson’s organ located at the back of the nasal cavity of a snake. When a milk snake is looking to detect a predator or is hungry for prey, they flick their tongue. The tongue picks up any chemical being emitted by the predator or prey. The snake then brushes the tongue against the Jacobson’s organ to find out the source of the smell.

How Do Pueblan Milk Snakes Reproduce

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How Do Pueblan Milk Snakes Reproduce?

Pueblan milk snakes, like all other milk snakes, are oviparous meaning they lay eggs. Don’t all snakes lay eggs? Well, no, not all snakes. Members of the Viperidae family, for instance, are ovoviviparous which means that they give birth to live young ones! Have you heard of the venomous rattlesnakes? They give birth instead of laying eggs.

The time between November through March sees mating couples of Pueblan milk snakes. Ovulating females move about in the brumation and hibernation burrows, leaving a trail of pheromone to attract the males. After successfully copulation, females lay eggs about 30 days later. They may either lay only 2 eggs, or as many as 15 eggs, depending on the female fertility.

Pueblan Milk Snake: Tips And Tricks To Take Care Of Them!

If you live outside of Mexico and want to take care of a Pueblan milk snake, you may have to adjust the surrounding temperature so that these snakes feel comfortable. The Mexican climate is hot and arid, so try to provide them with a terrarium that can mimic those conditions in the best possible way. A 3 x 2 x 2 feet terrarium or container would suffice at keeping a Pueblan hale and hearty! Get an enclosure with a lid so that humidity and heat can be regulated.

In its natural habitat in the mountains, valleys and  deserts of Mexico, Pueblan milk snakes are used to a temperature as high as 90℉ or 32℃. One-third of the enclosure should be treated as the warm spot with the same temperature as just mentioned, and a cool spot of 70℉ or 21℃. A basking lamp and a dimming thermostat would definitely help at maintaining this temperature.

We have read before that Pueblan milk snakes love the darkest hours of day, therefore all lights within the enclosure should be switched off at night so that the snake can come out and explore. UVB lights can definitely be added to the terrarium though it is not 100 percent necessary. Pueblan milk snakes love dark, hiding spots therefore there should not be too much light within.

Substrate is something you should definitely give a lot of attention to. Beech wood chips, with clay or soil mixture to mimic the snake’s natural environment, could be used for the substrate. Artificial ornaments like caves, rocks, tall and trailing plants, and logs of wood must be placed all throughout the enclosure for the snake to have a good time while buddy exploring.

Pueblan Milk Snake: Comparison With Other Snakes!

Snakes Looks Like Pueblan

Source: @m.seldes.photos

Yes, there are certain snakes that look quite like the bright and beautiful Pueblan milk snakes. Thankfully, the first one we are going to discuss is just as harmless as the Pueblan milk snake itself. Scarlet snakes of the Cemophora genus are also non-venomous colubrid snakes that are indistinguishable from the Pueblan milk snakes when seen by a non-expert.

Yes, we are talking about the same old red-white-black crossbands that are present on the Scarlet snakes as well! They look so alike that previously they were classified as the 25th milk snake subspecies, but later they were recognised as a separate species of snakes. Upon close observation you may find that the crossbands on a scarlet snake look a little bit blotchy, whereas on a Pueblan, the crossband outlines appear to be more distinctive.

Coral snakes are another species of snakes that resemble Pueblan milk snakes closely. We should be careful about coral snakes because, unlike the milk snakes mentioned above, they are venomous elapids. They are not aggressive at all and would rarely bite when confronted or threatened. They have fangs at the front of their mouth so must be approached cautiously.

Red, white or yellow, and black crossbands run along the whole body of coral snakes, similar to the ones present in milk snakes. However, in a milk snake the red bands always touch the black bands, and not the white or yellow bands. Whereas, in a coral snake, the red bands always touch the white or yellow bands. If you can remember this, it may prove worthwhile!


Pueblan milk snakes have a glistening body with white, black and red crossbands running in intermittent patterns all over their exterior. They are shy and non-aggressive, and usually slither away within crevices or burrows at the sight of an intruder.

Raising them up within a human household or a reserve is quite easy. Space, temperature and humidity requirements for Pueblan milk snakes are quite similar to those of most other pet snakes. However, they look quite similar to the venomous coral snakes, so be a little careful! Gather a lot of information about venomous and non-venomous snakes before getting one.

Hi dear readers! This is Rebecca, the lead analyst and blog writer for Snake Insider. Following in the footsteps of David’s guided path, I feel highly encouraged to make the most interesting snake-facts to a mass audience! In due time, I believe we’ll be able to present some jaw-dropping insight on snakes that’s sure to leave you begging for more! Personally, I’m a strongly motivated person to explore the most extreme environments should my work demand it. In many cases, I’ve ventured deep into territories that were never considered certain snake habitats and brought back necessary information. Rest assured I’ll surely be sharing them with you over the course of time.

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