Checkered garter snake

The Checkered Garter Snake (Thamnophis marcianus) is a species of garter snake native to the southern United States. The epithet marcianus is in honor of American Brigadier General Randolph B. Marcy, who led surveying expeditions to the frontier areas in the mid 19th century. The Checkered Garter Snake is typically green in color, with a distinct, black checkerboard pattern down its back. It is capable of growing to lengths of 42 inches, but 28 inches is closer to average. They are typically found near permanent bodies of water, like streams and ponds, but have also been found in the semi desert region of the High Plains of West Texas.It is the most easy garter snake to tame; even a wild one can become tame in a few days when handled carefully. Their diet includes small frogs, toads, small fish, earthworms, and if trained small mice or fish fillet. They will rarely bite; instead they release a foul smelling liquid onto the attacker.


There are three recognized subspecies of T. marcianus:

  • Thamnophis marcianus marcianus (Baird & Girard, 1853)
  • Thamnophis marcianus praeocularis (Bocourt, 1892)
  • Thamnophis marcianus bovalli (Dunn, 1940)

Introduction to BritainEdit

Different species Garter snake were said to be popular pets in the early 1990s. It is also said that a lot that have escaped or been released by their owners into the wild in Britain. Recently there breeding pairs have gone up to 16. So it seems they are able to survive in our climate despite the fact that it is colder than their original one.

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