- Upper body with red and orange blotches bordered with black, separated by yellow or white bands. The belly is whitish with irregular black markings
- Two subspecies are found in South Dakota
- Red milk snake (top), red head and snout
- Pale milk snake (bottom), orange head with black flecks
- Smooth scales
- Often mistaken for the poisonous coral snake (not found in South Dakota) and often killed. "Red touch yellow kill a fellow, red touch black good for jack"
- Diet: small vertebrates, including snakes, lizards, and mice
- Habitat: open prairies, sand dunes, and rocky hillsides near water sources
- Distribution: the red milk snake is found in the extreme southeastern counties. The pale milk snake is found in the counties adjacent to and west of the Missouri River.