Common Garter Snake

The Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) is one of nine snake species and one of three garter snakes (the others being the Western Terrestrial and Northwestern Garter Snake) found in BC. It has the largest range of any snake in BC and is found across the entire province except the extreme north and Haida Gwaii. They are found in many different habitats but are most common near marshes, ponds, riparian areas and meadows. Garter snakes can sometimes be hard to distinguish from each other but the Common Garter Snake is usually black with three yellowish stripes running from the back of the head to the tail and has red spots running down the body. They give birth to live young in the spring and hibernate over winter in communal dens, sometimes with other snake species. They are strong swimmers and can be seen hunting or lounging in the water.


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