Snakes: Common Garter Snake

Photo of Common Garter Snake

Perhaps the most likely snake encountered in New England is the Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). They live in a variety of habitats, from wetlands, forests, and fields, to suburban yards. Body patterns vary widely but often feature three light stripes and speckled sides. Eastern Ribbon Snakes are also striped but are more slender and lack side speckles. If a snake has you puzzled, the Snakes of Massachusetts website published by UMass Amherst contains a simple key that can aid with identification. (To view the following images in full-size, click here.)

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