Garter Snake

(Thamnophis sirtalis)

Garter snakes are some of the most common reptiles in much of their ranges, including the Coast Range, Klamath Mountains, Willamette Valley, West Cascades, East Cascades, Columbia Plateau and Blue Mountains.

Oregon has four types of garter snakes: the common, western aquatic, western terrestrial and northwestern garter snake. Scales come in a wide range of colors, but there is usually a yellow or yellow-green stripe running down the backbone. Their length is highly variable, but typically about 48 inches long.

Diet and habitat
Garter snakes are carnivorous. Their diets consist of slugs, earthworms, leeches, lizards, amphibians, ants, frog eggs and toads. They are widespread in Oregon, found in riparian, mixed conifer, lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, aspen, white oak and mixed conifer hardwood forest types, as well as parklands.

Predators and threats
Hawks, owls, cats, raccoons, and minks prey on garter snakes.

During mating season, the males mate with several females.  Gestation is 2 to 3 months. As few as three or as many as 80 snakes are born in a single litter. The young are independent upon birth.


9755 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 210        
Portland, OR 97225        
Phone: 971-673-2944        
Fax: 971-673-2946

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