Plains Garter Snake

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Is the Plains Garter Snake right for you?

Species group:

Scientific name: Thamnophis radix

The basics:
The Plains Garter Snake is common in the Great Plains of the US and southern Canada. It is found in southern Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, southward through the Great Plains to northern Texas, and eastward to Illinois, Ohio, and Missouri. Its habitats include moist pastures, meadows, marshes, and prairies. It is also seen in farmlands and vacant urban sprawls.

Appearance / health:
Plains Garter Snakes mature to about 40 inches in length, with the females longer and bulkier than males. The base body color ranges from light olive to brownish or grayish green, sometimes black. Three longitudinal yellowish orange stripes are present on the back; the middle stripe is more prominent than the two lighter side stripes. Typically, there is a row of black spots below the lateral stripes. The belly is often cream to grayish blue. The head is brown or black with two small yellow dots on top. There are black bars on the labial scales. The back scales are keeled.

Behavior / temperament:
Plains Garter Snakes are shy and spend most of their time basking. They are diurnal, actively hunting during the day. When threatened, a Plains Garter Snake will hardly bite; instead, it will coil, raise its tail and wag it slowly, then release a foul smelling musk to repel its predator.

Plains Garter Snakes are best kept in a medium to large savannah-type terrarium decorated with stones, driftwood or roots, and cork bark for hiding. Substrate should be absorbent like newspaper or aspen shaving. A large water dish should be available for drinking and soaking. Day temp: 75-79F; night temp: 61-68F; humidity: 50-60%; lighting: 12 hours.

These Garter Snakes get along well together; therefore, they can be kept in groups. Fresh water should be provided daily and substrate should be replaced regularly.

Plains Garter Snakes feed on a variety of prey including small mammals, frogs, fish, earthworms, insects, salamanders, and bird eggs.

Plains Garter Snakes give birth to live young. They mate in the spring and deliver the litter of 5-70 young in late summer or fall.


Beautiful Garter snakes, excellent reptile pets, fun, stunning species


wild-caught garter, wildcaught ones, internal parasites, fast friend


80F ambient temperatures, multivitamin supplement, small adult size, crickets

Plains Garter Snake Health Tip

Plains Garter Snake

From WingedWolfPsion May 18 2009 3:31PM


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