Description: Adults to 49" in length. Color black, gray, or brown; prominent yellow stripe on back, pale stripe on sides; red blotches between dorsal and lateral stripes. Moderately slender body; keeled scales. Single anal plate. Elevation Range: Below 6000' in northeastern Colorado.
The female Garter Snake grows to be about 51.5 cm, and the males grow to about 41.0 cm. The back (or dorsal) of the snake is black and usually has three yellowish lines running the length. There is also a checker board pattern on the back consisting of green, yellow, and black. The under side (or ventral) of the snake is a yellow to greenish color with an indistinct black line. The tip of the nose is brown. This species is not aggressive but will bite if aggravated and will release a foul, musk smelling odor. Juvenile garter snakes have the same checker board pattern, but the main color on their dorsal is brown, and the ventral is a cream color. As the snake ages, the dorsal pattern darkens.The garter snake is diurnal, but in hot weather the species will become nocturnal. This snake is terrestrial, and may be found in damp areas, or near water such as lakes, stream banks, wetlands, or in wooded areas. Water is not necessary for this snake to live. On the first warm day of spring this species will mate and produce anywhere from 7- 01 young. Garter snakes are ovoviviparous, which means they bear their young alive. Their diet mainly consists of earthworms, fish, amphibians, and other reptiles.
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