Protecting and enhancing the natural values of Salt Spring Island and its surrounding waters


Terrestrial Gartersnake

>>>Terrestrial Gartersnake

Terrestrial Gartersnake

Thamnophis elegans
This greyish or dark brown snake has two rows of dark blotches along the sides. The mid-body scale row count is usually 21 (10 on each side plus top row) and the two large upper lip scales behind the eye are unusually tall in comparison to the upper lip scales in front of the eye. A mid-body stripe along the back may appear somewhat zigzagged. This snake can be quite aggressive and is our only gartersnake to coil around its prey in the manner of a constrictor. The Terrestrial Gartersnake is most commonly found near water, and feeds upon fish, slugs, frogs, leeches, birds, mice, and voles.