Grade levels 
 

Garter Snake

 
 

Image: Wikipedia Creative Commons

Description: The Garter Snake is the most widely distributed snake in North America. Coloration is variable and may be green, brown, or gray, but most garter snakes have a well-defined stripe on the back and side. Garter snakes can range in size from 18 to 50 inches. They use their forked tongues to smell. Garter Snakes are the most commonly encountered snake in North America. They are most active during the day, and in southern parts of their range, they may remain active all year. Northern populations, large numbers of garter snakes hibernate in communal dens.

Diet: Frogs, toads, salamanders, earthworms, rodents.

Habitat/Range: Garter snakes occur near water, in wet meadows, marshes, prairie ponds, irrigation and drainage ditches, damp woodland, farms, and parks. Garter snakes may also show up under houses or in basements. This snake is found across North America except for in the desert southwest.

Breeding: Garter Snakes give birth (rather than lay eggs) to 7-85 young in the summer. Young snakes are 5 to 9 inches in length. Garter snakes become mature in two years.

Status: Garter Snakes are very common, though, the San Francisco Garter Snake, a sub-species, is an endangered species.