milk snake


Definition of milk snake

: a common, harmless king snake (Lampropeltis triangulum) chiefly of North and Central America that is either ringed with bands of black, red, and yellow or white or is gray or tan with brown, black-bordered blotches and a Y- or V-shaped marking on the back of the neck … the remarkable similarity between the venomous coral snake and the harmless milk snake, which mimics the coral snake's colors to protect itself. The tricky difference between the two brightly color-banded snakes is summarized by the saying: "Red on yellow, kill a fellow; red on black, friend of Jack."— Robert Hughes

Examples of milk snake in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

It is made by milking snakes for venom and injecting a small amount of it into a domestic animal like a sheep or a horse over several weeks which allows the animal to build antibodies which are filtered and concentrated to become antivenin. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "How to Avoid and Treat Rattlesnake Bites," 9 Nov. 2018 Species that tested positive for the disease included the northern water snake, racer, milk snake and queen snake. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "This fatal disease is disfiguring endangered Indiana snakes," 17 May 2018 Another two-headed snake, an albino Honduran milk snake named Medusa, was featured on Nat Geo WILD. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "Two-Headed Snake Has Extremely Rare Double Hearts," 15 Mar. 2018 And it is still manufactured using the same basic method created in the 1890s, which involves milking snakes through their fangs, injecting the venom into horses or other large animals and collecting their antibodies. Betsy Mckay, WSJ, "The Quest to Modernize Snakebite Medicine," 25 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'milk snake.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of milk snake

1800, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of milk snake was in 1800

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