Animals / Reptiles / Snake Types / Garter Snake - Common, Friendly Looking, Slender Slitherer

Garter Snake - Common, Friendly Looking, Slender Slitherer

red orange


Found anywhere from Alaska, to Canada, to the southern United States; the garter snake, with an average length of 20 to 49 inches (50 to 125 cm) is the most widely distributed genus of reptile in all of North America; it's even Massachusetts state reptile. It's also the only type of snake found in Alaska. There are about 40 different species/subspecies. It is believed that the garter snake is so widely distributed because of it's indiscriminate diet and ability to adapt to different types of environments. This indiscriminate diet consists of any creature they can overpower and swallow whole, including slugs, earthworms, leeches, lizards, amphibians, birds, fish, toads and rodents.



fat yellow black garter


eating frog legs


Garter snakes communicate through a complex system of pheromones and scent trails. Males and females usually produce vastly different pheromone scents, but sometimes males will produce both scents, causing some confusion during mating times. Their main form of self defense is to hide its head and flail its tail while releasing a malodorous, musky-scented secretion from its cloaca area. However, a garter snake will also occasionally coil and strike, or slither into water to escape a threat on land. The main predators of garter snakes are crows, hawks, raccoons, crayfish, other snake species (such as the coral snake and king snake), shrews and frogs (they eat the young snakes).


nice yellow black


wide mouth black snake


Like all reptiles, garter snakes are heterothermic, and will bask in the sunlight during the day as a means of regulating their body temperature. For many years, it was believed that garter snakes were a nonvenomous creature, but it was recently discovered that they do in fact produce a very mild neurotoxic venom. However, their mouths and venom glands are laid out in a fashion that would require them to basically chew on a victim in order to transfer any venom, which would then only have an effect similar to that of a bug bite.


blue striped garter




Animal pages