Snakes Of The U.S., Canada And Baja California Snakes Of The U.S., Canada And Baja California: Garter Snake, Georgia, Thamnophis sirtalis

Common name: Garter Snake, Georgia

Species name: Thamnophis sirtalis

venomous ?

Description: Thamnophis sirtalis is usually 18 – 26 in (45.7 – 66 cm) long, but occasionally reaches lengths up to 49 in (124 cm). Most individuals can be distinguished from other species by the presence of three yellow longitudinal stripes down a dark body. Some, however, exhibit a checkered body pattern with light stripes and a grayish or reddish body color. Specimens from southern Georgia and Florida are often bluish in background coloration. The belly of garter snakes is white or light yellow. Garter snakes are similar in appearance to ribbon snakes (Thamnophis sauritus) but ribbon snakes are generally more slender and garter snakes have vertical black lines on their lip scales. Additionally, in garter snakes the lateral yellow lines are on scales 2 and 3 whereas they are on scale rows 3 and 4 in ribbon snakes. On garter snakes they are on scales 2 and 3. Males generally have longer and thicker tails than females.

Distribution: Garter snakes are common throughout the Southeast and most of North America and are found in a wide variety of habitats, including meadows, marshes, woodlands, and hillsides. They tend to prefer moist, grassy environments and are often found near water, such as the edges of ponds, lakes, ditches, and streams. However, they are not always found near permanent water sources and may sometimes travel long distances from any water.

Habitat: They are common among the most commonly-encountered snakes in suburban areas, provided there is some cover (debris, boards, vegetation, logs, or rocks).

Foods: Common garter snakes feed on worms, slugs, frogs, toads, salamanders, fish and tadpoles

(Image by LaVonne)
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(Image by LaVonne)
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Snakes Of The U.S., Canada And Baja California

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