Plains Garter Snake

Thamnophis radixPlains Garter Snake

Description: The Plains Garter Snake is very similar to its cousin the Eastern Garter Snake, however, the lateral lines on this snake run laterally down scale row 3 and 4, whereas they are confined to 2 to 3 in the Eastern. This snake also has a series of unique black marking: one along the front of the jaw line, a double alternating row of black spots between stripes, a row of black spots below each lateral stripe, and spots down each side of the body. However, these markings may or may not be visible on all individuals.

Range: Northwest Indiana east to the Rocky Mountains. Alberta, Canada south to New Mexico. Isolated disjunctive populations exist in central Ohio and along the Missouri – Illinois border.

Habitat: Remarkably abundant throughout their range especially near river valleys and prairie ponds.

Reproduction: Garter snakes are ovoviviparous. Their young develop in eggs, like most oviparous, egg-laying snakes, but give birth to live young. The embryos develop inside the mother, but differ from mammals because snakes lack a placenta.

Diet: Their diet consists of almost any creature that they are capable of overpowering: slugs, earthworms, leeches, lizards, amphibians, birds, fish, toads, and rodents.

Fun Fact: The Plains Garter Snake is not venomous. However, you might want to be wary anyway, when it gets scared, it gives off a bad smell.