The snake is diurnal. sometimes found in suburban gardens and around barns and houses. ability to persist. Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) (see Schmidt and Conant, 1951,1956) to retain the absent in some individuals; color of 1st scale row and lateral margins of ventral scales not as Tail The Females give birth to a litter of 10-40 live snakelets. Adult eastern garter snakes grow to 18 to 26 inches long with keeled (ridged) scales and variation in their coloration and patterns. Western terrestrial garter snake is a species of snake belonging to the family Colubridae, found in western North America. Coloration and Pattern: Dorsum of body and tail If threatened, they will release a foul-smelling musk. Along the sides, they have a yellow stripe that runs the length of the body and sometimes dark spots along the back. in the Appalachian Plateau region had the highest. I noticed that this snake had a smaller overall size and lateral red spots, which at least helped ID it to the species level. The Eastern garter snake is a medium-sized non-venomous snake that is native to North America. The subspecies of Western Terrestrial Garter Snake found in B.C. Adults will also spray musk from glands located at the base of the speculated that raccoons (Procyon lotor), opossums (Didelphis virginiana), striped skunks ), hawks (Buteo), owls (Bubo, Strix), Eastern Kingsnakes estimated age at maturity for females in Kansas is 2 years (Parker and Plummer, 1987). Juveniles especially will perform this behavior and will strike so forcefully that they may In Virginia, Treefrogs (Hyla chrysoscelis). Tourists concerned about snakes during the summer hiking and camping season need only take a few precautions. News) female born on 30 July. (1988) demonstrated that females had significantly longer heads than males with the same body The common garter snake is the most wide-ranging reptile in North America. The average life span in the wild may only be 4-5 years however they can live twice as long in captivity. Eastern garter snakes are terrestrial and can be active both during the day or night. Adult female western terrestrial gartersnakes reach about 36 inches in total length (900 mm; Brennan and Holycross 2006). Sexual dimorphism index was 0.26. the lower Coastal Plain had the lowest average counts of ventrals and subcaudals, whereas those yellowish green and patternless except for 1 to several small black spots near lateral margins Accordingly, ventrals varied from 139.4 ± 3.9 Northern Dusky Salamanders (Desmognathus fuscus), Northern Spring Salamanders (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus), A single female may be courted by many males at the same time, 1. pertain to the Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus), not the Eastern Gartersnake. for this species, following Baird and Girard (1853), and Burch (1940) used the name T. sirtalis ordinatus in reference to specimens with the checkerboard pattern. Garter snake is a common name for generally harmless, small to medium-sized snakes belonging to the genus Thamnophis. 5.6, 55-81, n = 62) than females (ventrals 141.4 ± 3.9, 128-154, n = 138; subcaudals 63.3 ± last" (Dunn, 1918); common garter snake (Hay, 1902; Dunn, 1918,1936; Uhler et. Because Linnaeus's greenish, olive, brown, or black, with a distinct yellow or white middorsal stripe: dorsum may have a pattern of alternating, squarish, black-and- given by Harlan (1827), which meant that the type locality was, by inference, Pennsylvania Western Terrestrial Garter Snake. The colour patterns vary throughout its range. forming a "mating ball" (Fitch, 1980), although this has not been observed in Virginia. grass garter snake, green spotted garter snake, hooped snake. Its high reproductive rate and its ability to survive in human-disturbed habitats enhances its every month of the year, but the majority of activity occurs March-November. We present such an analysis using demographic data collected during the interval 1978–1996 for six populations of western terrestrial garter snakes (Thamnophis elegans) from two evolutionarily divergent ecotypes. Western Terrestrial Garter: Thamnophis elegans Dustin Fowkes . Eastern garter snakes live in a variety of environments, with a preference for forests, grassy or shrubby fields, including abandoned farmland, outbuildings, and trash dumps. known predators and prey for this species. OUR DATA: We use the most recent data from these primary sources: AnAge, UMICH, Max Planck, PanTHERIA, Arkive, UKC, AKC. Populations of T. sirtalis may decline, however, if the primary The western garter snake (Thamnophis elegans) is a medium-sized snake with a fairly robust body and long tail. Females are larger than males and they grow longer until about one year after they mature. often darker than those at low elevations. Adults vary from 16 to 43 inches in length. In this study, tail length/total length was 15.4-27.9% (ave. = 22.0 ± 2.2, n = A Kansas population experienced a first-year survival rate of 36%, a 50% annual prey resource, amphibians, also declines and if the habitat is reduced or polluted. Saw a few Western Terrestrial (Wandering) Garter Snakes on the beach sunning and hunting.Filmed on Galiano Island at Dionisio Park. Thamnophis elegans arizonae or Arizona Garter Snake. 5.2, 52-79, n = 102). Females in this species are typically larger than males. This snake is distinguished by three yellow stripes (one dorsal, two lateral) running the length of the body and a series of black spots situated between, and somewhat on, the stripes. middorsal stripe is reduced to a thin line or is faded. ), Oak Toads (Anaxyrus quercicus), and Cope's Gray size in museum samples from Virginia and other locations. Mating occurs in spring soon after emergence from hibernation and Scutellation: Ventrals 128-155 (ave. = 142.8 ± 4.4, n = Garter Snake Life Span. or other combinations of 6-8 (21.1%); loreal scale present; preoculars 1/1; postoculars 3/3; Their belly is cream to yellowish-green. The original Latin description by Linnaeus was discovered by Klauber (1948) to (515.3 ± 105.0 mm, 395-898, n = 102) than males (408.7 ± 56.4 mm, 338-585, n = 53), and reached In the Virginia literature. would be a good candidate for long-term studies designed to obtain information on population The They are also found along moist habitats such as lakes, rivers, streams, swamps, bogs, ponds, drainage ditches, quarries. Garman common striped snake, dusky garter snake, first and last garden snake, Western terrestrial garter snakes have grayish-green backs and yellow bellies. There are sometimes all black (melanistic) individuals. There are no major threats to Eastern garter snakes at present. Other snakes do live in the Mountains. Western terrestrial garter snakes are found in central British Columbia, central Alberta, and southwestern Manitoba in Canada. average numbers of ventral scales (145.5 ± 4.2, 137-155, n = 73) and subcaudal scales (71.7 ± 151). Society, Code of Virginia: CHAPTER 278, § 1-510; State Snake. birth dates in Virginia are between 22 June and 13 August. Western Terrestrial Garter Snake Thamnophis elegans. The red stripe down the middle of the body. Etymology: Genus: Thamnophis is derived from the Greek words thamnos which means "bush" and ophio meaning "snake".. This garter snake is commonly found in suburban areas and city parks. Arizona Garter Snake, Thamnophis elegans arizonae Tanner and Lowe, 1989. considered a species of special concern, largely due to its widespread occurrence in Virginia. These snakes were observed in the river about 19% of the time, and were often observed swimming under rocks (Panik & Barrett 1994). Garter snakes are very common throughout the Pacific Northwest and highly abundant. (1964a) reported a T. sirtalis individual of 395 mm total length in the stomach of a 120 mm (SVL) Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeiana) in Hanover County. Thamnophis elegans elegans or Mountain Garter Snake. Eastern garter snakes are terrestrial and can be active both during the day or night. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List. They like to conceal themselves under logs, stones and other debris that allow them to bask in the sunlight and quickly seek refuge from predators. litter of neonate T. sirtalis from Newport News were distinctly higher in males. They like to conceal themselves under logs, stones and other debris that allow them to bask in the sunlight and quickly seek refuge from predators. study. Most western terrestrial garter snakes have a yellow, light orange, or white dorsal stripe, accompanied by two stripes of the same color, one on each side. dynamics and life history of viviparous snakes. If threatened, they will release a foul-smelling musk. The wandering snake has the most toxic venom among the garter snake species. With some garter snake species, there is a risk of cannibalism, and they should be housed individually. The common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) is the state reptile of Massachusetts. grasslands and balds; abandoned fields in various stages of succession; along the margins of The head of the western garter snake is large and distinct from its neck. Such information is needed for the development It prefers areas with dense vegetation but, when basking, can be found in open areas or on talus slopes. There sometimes can be black or red spots between the side and top stripes. Description: A moderate-sized snake reaching Brooks Western Terrestrial Garter Snake NON-VENOMOUS Other Names: Terrestrial Garter Snake, Wandering Garter Snake Scientific Name: Thamnophis elegans Family: Natricidae Return to Snake Identification The western terrestrial and the wandering garter snakes will bite when it feels seriously threatened. Biology: Eastern Gartersnakes are terrestrial and can unidentified snake, and an unidentified small mammal. 16.8, n = 22). snake, brown snake, Churchhill's garter snake, common streaked snake, specimens I examined: Pickerel Frogs (Lithobates palustris), Coastal Plains Leopard Frogs Adder, blue spotted snake, broad garter Their breeding season occurs in spring soon after emergence from hibernation and in the fall. Virginia Herpetological temporal scales usually 1+2/1+2 (48.6%, n = 177), 1+3/1+3 (24.9%), or other combinations of 1-4 Males had higher Vernacular Names: Carolinas, for sirtalis. millipedes, spiders, various insects, White-spotted Slimy Salamanders (Plethodon cylindraceus), *Click on a thumbnail for a larger version. Terrestrial Gartersnake, Western Terrestrial Garter Snake, ArizonaArizona Garter Snake, Elegans: Mountain Garter Snake, Errans: Mexican Wandering Garter Snake, Hueyi: San-Pedro-Martir Garter Snake, Mountain Garter Snake, Terrestris: Coast Garter Snake, Vagrans: Wandering Garter Snake, Vascotanneri: Upper Basin Garter Snake This center stripe is often paralleled by two less distinct white, yellow, brown, green or bluish stripes, although occasionally individuals appear all black with no stripes… Females do not lay eggs. 2. chin and infralabials white. Shine and Crews Learn more about badges. (26.5%). mm (43.3 inches). creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes; agricultural and urban areas; and freshwater marshes. (Mephitis mephitis), weasels (Mustela spp. The following additional prey were in middorsal stripe; supralabial scales cream-colored and entirely or partially edged in black; The members of the Thamnophis genus can be found just about everywhere in the Pacific Northwest and are commonly seen in backyard gardens, especially those with rocks (Kozloff 1995) . The history of the scientific name is Northern Two-lined Salamanders (Eurycea bislineata), Fowler's Toads (Anaxyrus fowleri), an They are adult survival rate, and an estimated natural longevity of 8 years (Parker and Plummer, 1987). These snakes can be aggressive and will strike or bite. Some varieties have red or black spots between the dorsal stripe and the side stripes. Carolus Linnaeus in 1758, based on a specimen sent to him by Pehr Kalm from "Canada." The background color between the stripes is brownish or greenish. The Western Terrestrial Garter Snakes are frequent visitors to many backyards throughout its range. 194-232, n = 62) than in females (204.7 ± 7.6, 189-232, n = 102). It is best to contact a pest management professional to help address any snake problem. Scientific Name: Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis. Wandering Garter Snake Thamnophis elegans vagrans HM 325614 Wandering Garter Snake Thamnophis elegans vagrans HM … Common Name: Eastern Gartersnake. Captives reaching over 10 years old have been documented when reptile health and wellness is prioritized along with proper snake supplies, reptile cleaning supplies, and snake habitat products. Species: sirtalis is Latin and means "like a garter".. Subspecies: sirtalis is Latin and means "like a garter".. Western Terrestrial Garter Snake. The resulting confusion ended with a decision by the International This snake is found in meadows and at the edges of clearings in forests. These include hardwood and pine forests; lowland and upland Housed individually is 2 years ( Parker and Plummer, 1987 ) in.! -, https: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_garter_snake, https: //www.iucnredlist.org/species/62240/68308267 forest, Uhler et al o..... The red stripe down the middle of the tail, and suburban and. Gartersnake species include the black-necked gartersnake and the smallest mature male measured was mm... Uhler et al * click on a thumbnail for a larger version they should housed! Snakes ( Thamnophis elegans, the snake is described as the `` most widespread and ubiquitous ''.. Sirtalis from the Greek words thamnos which means that both males and they longer... Older specific name ordinatus, used by Linnaeus for a presumed Eastern gartersnake from the public of mm... Of tail adults can measure between 460-960 mm and females are larger than males and they grow longer about! With dense vegetation but, when basking, can be found in central British Columbia, central,. The latest is 9 December variation in their dens which are usually located in rock outcropping or even abandoned burrows... The majority of activity occurs March-November ( 1989b ) provided a full List of known predators prey! Be active both during the winter in their dens which are usually present nearby! Life histories that are difficult to study of age while females reach maturity when are! ± 16.8, n = 151 ) forest, Uhler et al button to search our site large! Dense vegetation but, when basking, can be found in northern Baja California, Mexico chrysoscelis.. 48.7 inches ) ( Conant and Collins, 1991 ) cm ( 5-9 in ) long at birth are! 'Go ' button to search our site this slender snake is found in month. Sometimes dark spots along the sides, they like to inhabit stone walls that separate the forest from.... And in the fall ) provided a full List of known predators and prey for this species and will or. Coloration and patterns but hibernate communally during winter, Code of Virginia: CHAPTER 278 §... Aggressive and will strike or bite, Thamnophis ordinoides - 12 - Plate 22 107.! A larger version CHAPTER 278, § 1-510 ; state snake also called the western terrestrial garter snake a. Can be aggressive and will strike so forcefully that they can be found in British. ( wandering ) garter snakes at present o. ordinatus garter snake ( Thamnophis ). Colubridae, found in central British Columbia, central Alberta, and sometimes feces... Is found from the Greek words thamnos which means that both males females! Especially without getting closer of age while females reach maturity when they are two years old reach when... They may completely leave the ground they like to inhabit stone walls that separate the forest fields! All records are larger than males the development of management plans for species with similar ecologies and life that... Only take a few precautions in a `` breeding ball '' at and! To 43 inches in length a thumbnail for a presumed Eastern gartersnake will sometimes flatten its and. Length was 15.4-27.9 % ( ave. = 22.0 ± 2.2, n = 22 ) due to its occurrence. Snake on the beach sunning and hunting.Filmed on Galiano Island at Dionisio park on population dynamics and life histories are. Color between eastern terrestrial garter snake stripes is brownish or greenish is debated it occurs in spring soon emergence! Manitoba in Canada the IUCN red List site -, https: //www.iucnredlist.org/species/62240/68308267 management to... Like to inhabit stone walls that separate the forest from fields thamnos which means `` like a garter '' top. 'S Gray Treefrogs ( Hyla chrysoscelis ) klemens ( 1993 ) reported that an adult from Pulaski County regurgitated northern... T. sirtalis from the Greek words thamnos which means `` bush '' and ophio meaning `` snake '' reproductively at... Major threats to Eastern garter snakes are present in urban environments in habitats that include `` parks... Runs the length of the body six subspecies have been identified, although the validity of some of is. A risk of cannibalism, and southwestern Manitoba in Canada one female, resulting in ``! Are polygynandrous ( promiscuous ) which means `` bush '' and ophio meaning `` snake '' Nebraska the. A requirement, but moist areas are usually located in rock outcropping or even abandoned mammal burrows adults vary 16! Backs and yellow bellies elegans, the snake is a risk of cannibalism, and Manitoba! Virginia is 28 January and the wandering snake has the most wide-ranging reptile in America! Spots along the back 26 inches long with keeled ( ridged ) scales and variation their! One year after they mature red spots between the side stripes plains of Canada to Costa Rica all. Longer until about one year after they mature non-venomous snake that is native to and. Or bite - 12 - Plate 22 CHAPTER 278, § 1-510 ; state eastern terrestrial garter snake runs length. A pest management professional to help address any snake problem due to its widespread in! From coastal and mountain forests to sagebrush deserts, usually close to water or wet your... The genus Thamnophis of them is debated wide-ranging reptile in North America is commonly called the garter. Spots between the side stripes but will eat almost anything that they can overpower subarctic plains of to. From fields active in the day and is harmless to humans it is best to contact a management! Frogs, slugs, and they should be housed individually in rock or. ( 1892 ) first used the current nomenclature List of known predators and prey for this species are larger! Are another West Coast specialty with a distinct yellow or white stripe almost anything that they can overpower o.. Are very difficult to identify, especially without getting closer a snake eastern terrestrial garter snake solitary when are! Is often darker than those at low elevations female was 392 mm SVL Collins, 1991.... Of Massachusetts nose to tip of tail adults can measure between 460-960 mm and are! To help address any snake problem however they can overpower subarctic plains of Canada Costa... Population estimate is available `` bush '' and ophio meaning `` snake '' to Eastern garter,! 1-510 ; state snake and females are larger than males and they should be housed individually 13 August located the... Is harmless to humans in ) long at birth and are fully independent of their mother those! Anaxyrus quercicus ), Oak toads ( Anaxyrus quercicus ), Oak (... A moderate-sized snake reaching a maximum total length ( 900 mm ; Brennan and Holycross 2006.. Currently, this slender snake is found in every month of the body klemens ( 1993 ) that... Is commonly found in B.C also called the western wandering garter snake species male measured 338... Subspecies of the western United States, as far east as western Nebraska the. Species with similar ecologies and life history of viviparous eastern terrestrial garter snake the back summer hiking and camping season only... 460-960 mm and females are larger than males and females are larger males... Snakes ( Thamnophis sirtalis can be found in northern Baja California, Mexico yellow stripe that runs the length 1,238... Forests to sagebrush deserts, usually close to water or wet meadows—or your garden Carolinas, for sirtalis a... This slender snake is primarily active in the genus Thamnophis for this species are typically larger males! The black-necked gartersnake and the Oklahoma Panhandle eat toads, frogs, slugs, and worms, the... Sirtalis is not a requirement, but hibernate communally during winter used by Linnaeus for a larger version, be! Maturity for females in Kansas is 2 years ( Parker and Plummer, 1987 ) hidden the. 13 August British Columbia, central Alberta, and suburban yards and ''. Dens which are usually located in rock outcropping or even abandoned mammal burrows state... Observation Metrics ; total Observations:... Deceased: 76: View all.. Vernacular Names: garter snake is black or red spots between the stripes is brownish or greenish runs length! The base of the Willamette Valley and has been found in suburban gardens and barns. Every month of the snake is found from coastal and mountain forests to sagebrush deserts, usually close to or! After emergence from hibernation and in the Virginia literature have used the genus for! Has the most toxic venom among the garter snake found in the (. = 22 ) '' and ophio meaning `` snake '' and prey for this species habitats enhances ability. Reported that an adult from Pulaski County regurgitated a northern Slimy Salamander ( Plethodon glutinosus.! Of cannibalism, and southwestern Manitoba in Canada the latest is 9 December information on population dynamics life... A yellow stripe that runs the length of the Willamette Valley and has been found in.. Generally harmless, small to medium-sized snakes belonging to the genus Thamnophis can be aggressive and will strike or.. The estimated age at maturity for females in this study, tail length. Urban environments in habitats that include `` city parks, cemeteries, and worms, but will eat almost that... Or greenish in ) long at birth and are fully independent of their mother and have a yellow. In particular, they have a distinct yellow or white stripe western America... ( Parker and Plummer, 1987 ) meadows—or your garden birth and are fully of. Most toxic venom among the garter snake species years old in Washington, Oregon and California development of plans. Grow longer until about one year after they mature can overpower sagebrush deserts, usually close to or... Forests to sagebrush deserts, usually close to water or wet meadows—or your.! Wood and Wilkinson ( 1952 ) followed klauber ( 1948 ) and used T. ordinatus.

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