Garter snake Georgia

Garter snake Georgia

Garter snake Georgia

Garter snakes come in a wide variety of colors depending on the species, but “most have three longitudinal stripes — one in the center of the back and one on each lower side of the body," according to herpetologist Jeff Beane, collections manager of amphibians and reptiles at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. "In most species, the stripes are yellowish or greenish, but this varies with species and region.”The tiny garter snake is the state snake of Georgia. The snake was first discovered around 1780 and was named after England's King George the Third by Revolutionary War General Benedict Arnold.


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.

Range and Habitat: 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, They are common among the most commonly-encountered snakes in suburban areas, provided there is some cover (debris, boards, vegetation, logs, or rocks).Habits: Garter snakes may be active by day or night and are often found under boards or other debris. They are viviparous (give birth to live young) and sometimes have more than 50 babies. Common garter snakes feed on worms, slugs, frogs, toads, salamanders, fish and tadpoles. They may be active throughout the year, including warm winter days. (Source: srelherp.uga.edu)


Thamnophis sirtalis (common garter snake): The common garter snake has the largest range, occurring in most of the continental United States with several subspecies, according to Beane. They are found everywhere from Alaska to Florida, though they do not live in the Southwest. Common garter snakes usually have three white, yellow, blue, or green stripes running the lengths of their brown or olive bodies. Their heads are darker than their bodies. Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis (Eastern garter snake): This subspecies of common garter snake is typical throughout the eastern United States. Though its body color may vary from brown to green, it almost always has three yellowish stripes on its back, according to the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Sometimes its body is splotchy, giving it a checked appearance. Eastern garter snakes in Georgia and Florida sometimes have bluish coloring.

Thamnophis sirtalis annectens (Texas garter snake): This common garter snake subspecies primarily resides in the Lone Star State, though according to Wildlife North America, there is a population in Kansas. It has a dark colored back with a bright red stripe down its center and two light-colored stripes on its sides. :It’s officially summer! While outside enjoying the warm weather, beware. Snakes are also active this time of year, soaking up the sunshine and in search of abundant food sources – around rocks, in gardens, on stone patios, around brush & vegetation, or even in attics, crawlspaces and basements. Here are some common snakes you may encounter in Southern states and what you can do to keep them away from your home. (Source: www.callnorthwest.com)



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