#2-Garter snakes

All About Garter Snakes

Garter snakes are the most common snake in North America. I have seen them lots of time. It is the state reptile of Massachusetts, my home state.

There are about 100 different kinds, with many different skin patterns. Lots of them are named for their habitats, like the Oregon, Arizona, Mountain, and Mexican garter snakes. Others are named for the way they look, like the Blackbelly, Checkered, Shorthead, and Longtail garter snakes. Still others are named for the people who first cataloged them, like Butler’s, Godman’s, and  Sumichrast’s garter snakes.

But my favorite name is the Wandering garter snake. I wonder where it wanders. <g>

All snakes are cold-blooded (they need to warm up in the sun in order to really get going) and carnivorous. Garter snakes will eat almost anything they can catch, including frogs, slugs, worms, lizards, birds, fish, and mice. They swallow everything whole.

Lots of people keep them as pets. (But they cannot do tricks like my dog.)

They mostly do not bite, and even if they do, they do not have fangs like rattlesnakes and cobras. Until recently scientists thought garter snakes weren’t poisonous. But actually they produce a mild venom which they spread into wounds by chewing. (So if you do get bitten, don’t just hang out and let the snake gnaw on you. And even if you do, the venom is not fatal to humans.)

They don’t get very big. The longest are about one meter, but most are half that size. They are pretty easy to catch.

If you have anything interesting to comment about snakes, please do it below.



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Comments from my Readers & Friends

    • My research tells me you must’ve been bitten by an very unusual snake. If I am correct, you soon will have superhuman powers. You’ll be able to turn solid objects into liquid through mind power alone. I hope you use your powers for good…not evil.

  1. I was bitten by a black snake with yellow on its back. Are those snakes poisonous? Cause the next day I felt weaker and weaker. I want to know if I have poison in me. Please respond right away. After my snake bite I’ve been getting terrible minegrains. And I’ve been feeling a little light headed.

  2. Cottonmouths (also called water moccasins) can detect a change in temperature of as little as 1 degree Celsius (or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit).

  3. My dog found one in the back yard of my house and it looked like the 1 pic you put. My step dad picked it up and said do you want to touch it and I said…….
    NO NO NO and NO!!