The Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) is a snake indigenous to North America. Most garter snakes have a pattern of yellow stripes on a brown background. The saliva of a garter snake may be toxic to amphibians and other small animals. For humans, a bite is not dangerous, though it may cause slight itching, burning, and/or swelling. Most garter snakes also secrete a foul-smelling fluid from postanal glands when handled or harmed.
Ten Facts about Common Garter Snake
- Their average length is about 1 metre (3.3 ft) to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft).
- In summer, it is most active in the morning and late afternoon; in cooler seasons or climates, it restricts its activity to the warm afternoons.
- Garter snakes generally mate in March or April, after hibernation.
- The species is ovoviviparous; females give birth to a litter of 12-15 live young any time from February through December.
- Sometimes a male snake will mate with a female before hibernation and the female will store the sperm internally until spring,
- The habitat of the garter snake ranges from forests, fields, and prairies to streams, wetlands, meadows, marshes, and ponds, and it is often found near water.
- Their diet consists mainly of amphibians and earthworms, but also fish, small birds, toads, and rodents.
- Animals that eat the Common Garter Snake include large fish(such as bass and catfish), bullfrogs, snapping turtles, milk snakes, hawks, skunks, foxes, and domestic cats.
- They can live up to 25 years.
- They can eat mammals bigger than their size.