Monday, September 1, 2014

Wandering Garter Snake

The wandering garter snake is a subspecies of the western terrestrial garter snake which is found throughout much of the western United States. I have previously done a post on the mountain garter snake, a different subspecies, which is much less widespread. 
Wandering garter snake
The wandering garter snake is brown, green or gray with a brown or dull yellow dorsal stripe edged with dark markings that make the borders irregular and which can break the stripe into dots and dashes. It also has a stripe on each side. The color between the stripes has dark spots which are small and well separated, and sometimes completely absent. 
Dorsal stripe broken up by black spots and side stripe visible.
Belly scales
This is the same subspecies of garter snake I found as a youth at our ranch near Oakley, Utah. Andrew found the pictured specimen near Trout Creek Pass outside Buena Vista, Colorado at an elevation of about 9,400 feet. It was thicker and longer than the garter snakes I remember catching as a youth and did not spew cloacal contents when I held it like the garter snakes of my youth did. 


  1. Wait, I thought _I_ found this snake on the kitchen counter. You aren't going to include it's great escape talent?

  2. That is another aspect of its life that has already been treated on your blog.