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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Checkered Garter Snake (Thamnophis marcianus marcianus)




Checkered Garter Snake | Thamnophis marcianus-marcianus photo
Checkered Garter Snake

Photograph by LA Dawson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Checkered Garter Snake | Thamnophis marcianus-marcianus photo
Albino Checkered Garter Snake

Photograph by LA Dawson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

CHECKERED GARTER SNAKE FACTS

Description
The Checkered Garter Snake is typically tan, brown or greenish with large black blotches in a distinctive checkered pattern down its back. There are yellowish stripes on the back and lower sides between the rows of checkers. The head is not much wider than the neck. There is a dark blotch on each side of the head with a lighter area between the blotch and the corner of the mouth. The underside is pale without markings or blotched with black. It is a good swimmer and may dive when disturbed.

Size
Average length about 50cm - 70cm. Can grow to 105cm.

Environment
Found in grassland, semi-arid land, usually near permanent water, like streams, ponds, rivers, irrigation ditches.

Food
frogs, toads, small fish, fish, lizards, small mammals and invertebrates.

Breeding
Bears live young from May to October.

Range
Found in south east California, southern Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and south into Mexico.

Notes
Garter Snakes have toxins in their saliva and the bite can produce mild reaction in humans. They are not considered dangerous to humans, although they excrete a foul smelling musk when handled.

The Checkered Garter Snake is sold in the reptile pet trade, and is quite hardy in captivity. It can be bred in captivity and some albino variants are being produced.

Classification
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata (Serpentes)
Family:Colubridae
Genus:Thamnophis
Species:marcianus marcianus
Common Name:Checkered Garter Snake


Relatives in same Genus
  Butler's Garter Snake (T. butleri)
  Blackneck Garter Snake (T. cyrtopsis)
  Western Terrestrial Garter Snake (T. elegans)
  Coast Garter Snake (T. elegans terrestris)
  Two-Striped Garter Snake (T. hammondii)
  Redstripe Ribbon Snake (T. proximus rubrilineatus)
  Eastern Ribbon Snake (T. sauritus sauritus)
  Northern Ribbon Snake (T. sauritus septentrionalis)
  Common Garter Snake (T. sirtalis)
  Texas Garter Snake (T. sirtalis annectens)
  California Red-Sided Garter Snake (T. sirtalis infernalis)