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.