The next time a harmless garter snake slithers near you, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Length: 18-51 inches.
- Number of stripes on a garter: 3. One runs down the middle of the back; the others are on each side of the belly with a checkerboard pattern between.
- Rows of teeth: 4. A garter's mouth contains several small teeth that point backward. The teeth are used to move live prey down its throat.
- Average litter: 18. Live young (not eggs) are delivered in late summer or early fall and mature in two year.
- Species of garters: 13. All garters are members of the largest common snake family; Colubridae.
continue reading below
Did You Know?
- The garter snake was named for its resemblance to the garters worn by men and women of generations past.
- Without constriction or venom, garter snakes feast on earthworms, fish, frogs, toads, salamanders, mice, and bird eggs.
- When annoyed or frightened, garter snakes emit a musky odor and/or defecate. They may also bite but are not venomous; if there is a reaction it is usually only a slight rash.