• Lower Cliff Dwelling

    Tonto

    National Monument Arizona

Blackneck Garter Snake

blackneck garter snake

Blackneck Garter Snake

NPS Photo

Blackneck Garter Snake
Thamnophis cyrtopsis

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?

old photo of the Lower Cliff Dwellings

The first known written record of the cliff dwellings at Tonto National Monument dates from 1880. Archeologist Adolph Bandelier visited the dwellings in 1883, and said they were some of the best preserved he had ever seen. More...