The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/House Snake

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HOUSE SNAKE, or MILK SNAKE, a variety of Lampropeltis doliatus, the corn-snake (q.v.) of the South, found abundantly in most parts of the northern half of the United States westward to the Rocky Mountains. The dorsal scales are not at all keeled and the ventral plates often exceed 200 in number; the ground-color is gray with three series of rounded black-bordered brown blotches, and the belly checkered with black and white; a length of four feet is sometimes attained. This is a handsome and mild-tempered colubroid snake, very abundant in farming districts, where it frequently enters houses, but probably in search of mice rather than for the purpose of drinking milk, as is popularly believed. It is an expert climber, often ascending porches and vines attached to the walls of houses. Usually the eggs are deposited in a hole dug in a sandy field.