Wisconsin status: common

length: 24-36 inches

Legend has it that this snake sneaks into barns and sucks milk from cows. That's how it got the name milksnake. While this snake does like to hang around barns, it's not to suck milk from cows--it likes to eat rodents.

The milksnake has a gray or light brown background color with three rows of reddish-brown or brown blotches bordered in black. There is usually a whitish "Y" or "V"-shaped marking on the top of its head. Its belly is white with black rectangular markings.

Milksnake Habitat Range
Milksnake Habitat Range

You'll find these common snakes in oak savannas, northern and southern upland hardwoods, prairies, and old woodlots and pastures. They are often found around farm buildings, older homes with stone foundations, and in vacant lots at the edge of cities.

It eats mostly rodents but will also eat other small snakes.