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Snake (Common Garter)

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Thamnophis sirtalis
Snake (Common Garter)


There are many, many species of garter snake and they are found in more places in North America than any other snake. Their range is southern Canada and most of the U.S. (except the Great Plains and southwestern deserts).


They are found near streams and wetlands and in wet meadows, forests, gardens, and roadsides.

Body Traits

They can be from 1.5 feet long to as long as 4 feet (rarely). Females are much larger than males. They have 1-3 yellow stripes that run down their bodies (sometimes the stripes can be reddish or even white).


They lie in the sun to warm up like other cold-blooded animals and sleep (hibernate) during the winter. They often live grouped together (gregarious) hidden under a rotten log or hay bale. They will go into the water to get away from predators.


They eat small fish, frogs, toads, salamanders, earthworms, and mice.


They are eaten by hawks, foxes, eagles, owls, mink, bigger snakes, and raccoons.

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Females have a litter of 3 – 50 (sometimes more) live babies. They are 5 - 9 inches long when they are born. Baby garter snakes are prey for frogs and birds.

Snake (Common Garter)
Snake (Common Garter)


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Thamnophis
Species: T. sirtalis

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