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Eastern Gartersnake   

Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis

Commonly Confused Native Species:




Size:                  A medium sized snake measuring 16 to 42 inches in



Color:                Brownish-black dorsum with three longitudinal yellow

                           lines and typically a black checkered pattern. The venter

                           is yellowish-tan in color with black mottling. Garter

                           snakes can be distinguished from ribbon snakes by their

                           two yellow lateral lines that are confined to the second

                           and third dorsal scale row.  Keeled scales.              


Behavior:         Once detected they rapidly flee. Sometimes they flatten

                           their bodies to appear larger.  When handled they emit an

                           unpleasant smelling musk and occasionally bite.

                           Non-venomous, bite is harmless. 


Habitat:             Found in all habitats across the state.          


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