Snakes are an abundant species here on our Earth and they don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. And with so many to choose from, learning about some of them can be an interesting endeavor.
Take Lampropeltis Triangulum gaigeae, known as the Black Milk snake for example: It’s a non-venomous subspecies of the Milk Snake and is the largest known Milk Snake. These snakes have an easy-going nature, enjoy interacting with humans, and can make for a great first pet.
You can bet that there is more to know about the Black Milk snake, so let’s dive right in.
Black Milk Snake Genetics
Black Milk snakes hold a certain type of genetic trait that creates the beautiful tricolors and deep black that we witness on them, and that trait is dominant-recessive genes.
The genetic coding of the Black Milk snake is due to their dominant alleles.
These alleles, or characteristics, are what tells the snake’s body which color to be, how long to grow, even down to what to eat. The colors of the Black Milk snake are of the dominant genes, which is why it’s challenging to get any other color.
Whereas genetic traits that the Black Milk snake has that’s due to its recessive gene include their venom strength, eye color, teeth, and outstanding patterns or anomalies.
Genetics also play a role in where the snake was found, what animals it likes to ingest, as well as giving a formal and physical representation of the Black Milk snake’s history in the wild and in captivity.
How Much is a Black Milk Snake?
If you can afford a night in the town, then you can afford to purchase a Black Milk snake, seeing that they range between 75 and 200 dollars.
The cost of a Black Milk snake is fairly cheap and can be bought even by a teenager simply because of their affordability.
There are some features that will determine the price for you. Baby Black Milk snakes are always cheaper than adults because they take less maintenance to care for and they are smaller, which means less materials to buy.
Another fact is male Black Milk snakes are usually cheaper than their female counterparts because they require less handling and doctor visits (seeing as they can’t get pregnant.) In addition, the bigger they are, the more they will cost.
Regardless of gender or life status, if the Black Milk snake is at, or passed, sexual maturity, then the cost of the snake will sky-rocket simply because they are now capable of reproducing more Black Milk snakes.
What Do Baby Black Milk Snakes Look Like?
Black Milk snakes have an intriguing physical attractiveness that will leave you in awe. When they are young, they resemble a Milk snake.
It’s a tri-colored reptile with red, black, and white stripes going along its entire body, including its underbelly. Their head and their tail are both dominantly black.
After their head, the red, black, and white stripes follow in an organized pattern until it reaches about one inch away from the tail. From this point, the snake’s tail turns fully black with one or a couple of white stripes going through it.
As they grow older and reach sexual maturity, their colorful body will start to darken into a solid black color, hence why they’re called Black Milk snakes. Since they are so dark, their scales tend to reflect light, which gives them a shiny aura that covers the sides of their body.
They also have a long body that they gracefully push forward to move around efficiently.
Black Milk Snake Facts
Black Milk snakes are remarkably interesting animals because of the mystery that they provide to our brain.
Check out some of these interesting facts about Black Milk snakes:
- When they are young snakes, they are tri-colored with red, black, and white, and as they age, they transition into a solid black color.
- The Black Milk snake is a morph of the original Milk Snakes.
- Black Milk Snakes are non-venomous reptiles. They have small teeth in their mouth that allows them to push back small rodents that they ingest, but no fangs to deliver a poisonous shot to their prey or owner.
- Black Milk snakes have a docile nature. They are prone to curling themselves up while sitting on a lap in to collect as much heat as they can for physical regulation. They also enjoy safe and secure interaction with their caretaker.
- As a hatchling, a Black Milk snake can come out red, black, white, or even yellow!
- The Black Milk snake starts to turn into a solid black color between 6 and 10 months of life.
How to Breed Black Milk Snakes?
Breeding Black Milk snakes consist of many factors for success.
First, if you want proper interaction, you’ll want to wait until your female Black Milk is fully sexually mature and big enough to handle the process.
Which means that a female Black Milk Snake should be bred between year 3 and 5 of their life for safety reasons.
Continuing with their size, your female Black Milk snake should be at least 5 feet long, while the male should be at least 3 feet in length. It may take several rounds for the snakes to get well acquainted, so patience will be your friend here.
Once the deed is done, your Black Milk snake will be set to produce and release the eggs from her body within a few weeks.
After the eggs are out, it’s time to incubate them.
This can be done with an artificial heating lamp, or the original way where the momma Black Milk physically incubates them herself, which can take up to 65 days to complete.
Black Milk Snake Morphs
It should be noted that the Black Milk snake is a morph of the Milk Snake and doesn’t have many morphs of its own.
However, there still is the chance that breeders have taken a Black Milk Snake and mixed it with other types of snakes to create subspecies of the subspecies.
Although rare to find, they do exist, and they include:
- Costa Rican Black Milk Snake
- Sinaloan Black Milk Snake
- Honduran Black Milk Snake
- Pueblan Black Milk Snake
Most of the Black Milk snake morphs are based on the region that they were found.
They tend to look the same with similar patterns and other physical features yet have their own aesthetics that makes it easy to tell the different Black Milk snakes apart.
Black Milk Snake vs. Mexican Black Kingsnake
The Black Milk Snake and Mexican Black Kingsnake are commonly mixed up because they look so much alike in their adult stage; but there are significant differences between the two.
To start, juvenile Mexican Black Kingsnakes are naturally black and stay black when they reach adulthood; unlike the Black Milk Snake which starts off as three colors, then darkens to black.
In addition, Black Milk Snakes are bigger than Mexican Black Kingsnakes! So, in adult form, you can easily tell the difference just by looking at their size.
Also, when you look closely at their scales of the Black Milk Snake, you’ll find small strips of red between them. The red is leftover color from the Milk snakes’ juvenile years and will soon fade away and be replaced with black.
The biggest difference between these two snakes is their physicality; but when it comes to personality and not being poisonous, they are pretty similar snakes.
Black Milk Snake Habitat
Black Milk snakes have a wide range of habitats. Black Milk snakes are native to the Americas; some North, but mostly Central and South.
Commonly, you can find this snake in the areas of Costa Rica and Panama. Black Milk snakes typically live in the wet, high mountains cloud forest of these tropical areas because of all the coverage that provides, along with all the smaller mammals for it to eat.
It’s cool to know that Black Milk snakes also thrive in elevations as low as 5,000 to as high as 7,500 feet! In other areas, the elevation is a bit lower ranging between 4,300 and 6,500 feet.
Their habitat is usually very grassy and filled with trees which they use as protection.
Their habitat also provides them with plenty of small mammals like mice, amphibians, other reptiles, and their eggs to feast on and stay healthy.
Black Milk Snake Humidity
Black Milk snakes are used to having humid areas surround their body. Their natural habitat is usually humid, and the humidity also helps to regulate the snake’s body.
For most Black Milk snakes, their humidity should stay within the range of 40 to 60 percent. The bigger the snake is the more humidity they will need for regulation.
Therefore, since females Black Milks are bigger than the males, their humidity should be between 50 and 60 percent; the same goes for when they are pregnant.
Also, during the winter, the humidity should be closer to 60 to keep the snakes from freezing their scales off.