Wandering Garter Snake

The head of a snake peaks out from grass

The wandering garter snake is one of six reptile species and the largest species found in the park.

NPS

 

Scientific Name

Thamnophis elegans vagrans

Identification

  • Most common reptile in the park.
  • 6 to 30 inches long.
  • Brown, brownish green, or gray with three light stripes—one running the length of the back and a stripe on each side.

Habitat

  • Usually found near water in all areas of the park.
  • Eats small rodents, fish, frogs, tadpoles, salamanders, earthworms, slugs, snails, and leeches.

Behavior

  • May discharge musk from glands at the base of the tale when threatened.
  • Gives birth to as many as 20 live young in late summer or fall.
 

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