Blackneck Garter Snake
Body length: 16 - 43"
Diet: Frogs, tadpoles, toads, crustaceans, and fish
Although garter snakes seem to be found commonly in certain parts of the US, in desert regions they tend to be confined to stream areas. At Tonto National Monument, the blackneck garter snake is seldom seen far from water, which occurs here in only a few isolated springs and seeps.
Garter snakes are active during both day and night, and use their keen eyesight to track down prey such as canyon treefrogs and other amphibians. These snakes are particularly adept at hunting treefrog tadpoles when they emerge in April and May. They are also known to eat toads, frogs, earthworms, and fish.
Did You Know?
Tonto National Monument is home to a crested saguaro. Botanists disagree as to why some saguaros grow in this unusual form. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of lightning or freeze damage. About one in 150,000 saguaros develop this unusual growth.