Herpetofauna: One Life's List

Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis
Eastern Garter Snake

St. Louis Co., Missouri. Spring 1973

Pick any sunny afternoon in early spring, and chances are the Garter Snakes are out. I have seen them out basking when there was still snow on the ground.  I can remember spring days when I found them by the dozens along creeks and around ponds.  The females are usually heavier-bodied than the males - a yard long female is fairly thick!  They tend to stick by bodies of water, eating frogs, fish, worms, slugs, etc., but they can also be found in suburban back yards as well.  I have a few in my yard, and it's always a pleasure to run across one.







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