Texas Garter Snake

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Is the Texas Garter Snake right for you?

Species group:

Scientific name: Thamnophis sirtalis annectens

The basics:
The Texas Garter Snake is one of the many subspecies of Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis), and is native to parts of the central and southern United States, including Texas, Kansas and South Dakota. It is mostly found in dry and sparsely wooded areas.

The Texas Garter Snake is common within its range, and typically makes a hardy captive animal. In captivity, the Texas Garter Snake can be nervous, and while they rarely bite, they will musk when stressed - releasing a smelly liquid.

Appearance / health:
The Texas Garter Snake has a green-black back with an orange-red stripe down the center and yellowish stripes on either side of the body.

Behavior / temperament:
Texas Garter Snakes are active all day, but mostly in the warm afternoons for those living in the cooler northern regions. They are shy and usually appreciate peace and quiet, basking and soaking throughout the day. They can be gently handled, but will secrete a foul-smelling anal fluid as a defense mechanism. Some pet Garters eventually learn to enjoy being handled.

Garter Snakes are relatively small; therefore, the best cage is a 10- to 30-gallon dry woodland terrarium with a large bathing pan and accessories that provide hiding places, basking spots and climbing branches. Larger cages are ideal because they provide room for the snake to roam. The cage needs to be escape-proof. Day temp: 77-82F; night temp: 61-68F; basking temp: 86F; humidity: 50-60%; lighting: 12 hours, partly UV.
Since Garter Snakes group together (in dens in the wild), especially when they hibernate, they can be kept and cared for as a group. Because they are active (enjoys slithering in and out of the water) and voracious eaters, and dispel foul-smelling anal musk when disturbed, their cage needs to have a quick-drying substrate and should be regularly cleaned. Water should be changed daily. The snakes should be allowed to hibernate in winter for 2-3 months at 50-60F (colder for those brought in from the northern regions).

Texas Garter Snakes eat earthworms, fish, pinkie mice, and small frogs. They are diurnal, so will feed during the day.

After hibernation, Red-sided Garter Snakes mate, gestate, and give birth to live litter of about 12 to 50 baby snakes from July to October. Mating occurs when several males swarm one or two females to form a “mating ball.”


fairly good pet


pee, salmonella disease, poop


crickets, mesh lid, goldfish

Helpful Texas Garter Snake Review

Texas Garter Snake

From maddieg Sep 9 2014 6:51PM


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