Checkered Garter Snake

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Is the Checkered Garter Snake right for you?

Species group:

Scientific name: Thamnophis marcianus

The basics:
The Checkered Garter Snake is native to the southern United States, where it likes to live near permanent bodies of water such as streams and ponds. There are three recognized subspecies of Thamnophis marcianus.

The Checkered Garter Snake is common in the exotic pet trade, and typically makes a hardy captive animal. Captive breeding, while not common, is being done and albino variants are being produced. In captivity, the Checkered Garter Snake is considered to be one of the easiest Garter Snakes to tame. They rarely bite, and when stressed, will musk - releasing a smelly liquid.

Appearance / health:
The Checkered Garter Snake is typically green in color and has a distinct, black checkerboard pattern down its back. It can grow to 42 inches, but a length of 28 inches is more common.

Their diet includes small frogs, toads, small fish, earthworms, and if trained small mice or fish fillet.


robust appetite, perfect beginner snake, educational pet, vivid colors, interesting pet


bites, occasional skin infections, musky yuck, squeamish crickets, wild garter


small frogs toads, aspen shavings

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