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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)




Common Garter Snake | Thamnophis sirtalis photo
Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis

Photograph by Marc Verreault. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Common Garter Snake | Thamnophis sirtalis photo
Garter snake

Photograph by Blaine Hansel. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

COMMON GARTER SNAKE FACTS

Description
The Common Garter Snake usually has a pattern of yellow stripes on a brown background. There are a number of color variations including striped, checkered and almost all black.

Size
100cm - 150cm

Environment
Found from sea level to mountains. Habitats include forests, fields, prairies, stream margins, wetlands, meadows, marshes, ponds. They are usually found near water.

Food
The Common Garter Snake is semi-aquatic and eats mainly fish, tadpoles, frogs and and other amphibians.

Breeding
The Common Garter Snake bears live young (ovoviviparous). Gestation is usually two to three months. A litter of about 10 to 40 young are born between late July and October.

Range
Wide range across most of eastern North America.

Notes
Garter Snake bite can produce mild reaction in humans. They are not considered dangerous to humans, although they excrete a foul smelling musk when handled.

Classification
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata (Serpentes)
Family:Colubridae
Genus:Thamnophis
Species:sirtalis
Common Name:Common 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)
  Checkered Garter Snake (T. marcianus marcianus)
  Redstripe Ribbon Snake (T. proximus rubrilineatus)
  Eastern Ribbon Snake (T. sauritus sauritus)
  Northern Ribbon Snake (T. sauritus septentrionalis)
  Texas Garter Snake (T. sirtalis annectens)
  California Red-Sided Garter Snake (T. sirtalis infernalis)