Creature Feature: Milk Snake

In Creature Feature for tweens Jackie Hurst from Bookmobile spotlights interesting animals.

Can I touch it? Is it poisonous? Will it bite? Well, all animals with a mouth can bite. This snake is a milk snake, the nonvenomous kind. So it’s virtually harmless. It’s one type of king snake that lives in Kansas.

The milk snake mimics a venomous snake called the coral snake. A fun way to tell whether it’s a milk snake or a coral snake is by this saying:

Red next to black is a friend of Jack. Red next to yellow can hurt a fellow.

MilkSnakeDo you see the color pattern in this snake? Is red next to black? Yep, it’s a milk snake. If red was next to yellow, it would be a coral snake.

The milk snake population is going down in our state due to demand in the commercial pet trade. If you find one in the wild, always remember to leave it in its home.

If you’re hiking in Kansas, don’t worry about coral snakes. They’re not found in this state. We do have 38 other different species of snakes here, and only five of them are venomous. Do you know what they are?

coralsnakecoverIf you’re interested in snakes, come to our Amazing Animal program. You can also check out 100 Things You Should Know about Snakes by Barbara Taylor and Coral Snakes: Beware of Colors! By Nancy White. Or read the funny novel, Snake and Lizard by Joy Cowley.

Jason Lamb

Jason is the tween librarian, a children's advocate, and a new Kansan. When he's not a librarian, he's a father to twin girls and a singleton dog.

  • emily

    my dad has seen thousands of milk snakes