Coastal Plain Milksnake Lampropeltis triangulum temporalis  


The identity of this brightly-colored taxon is considered contentious. Traditionally, Coastal Plain Milk Snake was named as Lampropeltis triangulum temporalis, a subspecies of the widespread L. triangulum, but more recently, the general consensus among herpetologists was that it probably represented an intergrade population between the widespread Eastern Milk Snake (L. t. triangulum) and the southeastern Scarlet Kingsnake (L. (triangulum) elapsoides) (Maryland DNR herp website). Recent genetic work (Pyron & Burbrink, 2009) on the lampropeltine colubrids actually found that elapsoides is in fact not in the same clade as triangulum, grouping instead with several southwestern or Mexican taxa, and not conspecific with triangulum. This appears to be problematic indeed for the interpretation that the Coastal Plain Milk Snake is an intergrade between Scarlet Kingsnake and Eastern Milk Snake. An alternative theory that may be correct suggests that 'temporalis' merely represents a brighter regional color variation of triangulum. This interpretation is awaiting additional genetic sampling of various populations in this complex.

Where to find:

In Maryland, this form is restricted to the coastal plain, on both eastern and western shores.

There are 4 records in the project database.

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A Coastal Plain Milksnake found in Worcester Co., Maryland (5/11/2013). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

A Coastal Plain Milksnake in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (10/27/2018). Photo by Matthew Taylor. (MBP list)

A Coastal Plain Milksnake in Worcester Co., Maryland (5/22/2016). Photo by Charles Baker. (MBP list)

A Coastal Plain Milksnake in Dorchester Co., Maryland (9/3/2019). Photo by Mike Dougherty. (MBP list)

A Coastal Plain Milksnake in Worcester Co., Maryland (5/22/2016). Photo by Charles Baker. (MBP list)

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