Diet. Beane said that garter snakes “feed mostly on fishes, amphibians, and earthworms; other prey are occasionally taken.” The snakes immobilize their prey with their sharp teeth and quick reflexes. The saliva of some species contains a mild neurotoxin that causes paralysis, making small prey easier to swallow.
If you have ever wrestled with slugs eating your plants, then the garter snake is at the top of the list of beneficial species you want to include in your garden. With over two-dozen species endemic to North America, it's likely you already have a garter close by feeding on the pests in your landscape.
What to Feed to Garter Snakes. Wild garter snakes eat a varied diet containing worms, amphibians, fish, eggs, snails, and rodents. While captive garter snakes can be fed predominantly frozen thawed rodents, occasionally they can be offered other prey items such as earthworms, fresh whole feeder fish, frogs, or toads.
Garter snakes need a water dish to both drink water from and to soak in. Pick a bowl that is large and shallow. Make sure that the water dish in the enclosure is always filled with enough fresh water for the snake to soak. Change the water every day.
Most species can grow to around 100 cm long and are fairly slender. They can live for 10 years or more and grow quite quickly. Before acquiring a garter snake, you must be sure that you are able to provide the correct care and associated costs for the animal's entire life.
Squirrels are omnivorous which means that they eat both plants and animals. They primarily feed on nuts, seeds and fruits but also feed on insects and small snakes such as the garter snake. They have also been known to attack garter snakes to defend their young.
To survive the winter, garter snakes will find a safe and snug place underground. They may look for a natural cavity or use a rodent burrow. They also find hibernation areas under rock piles or stumps. Sometimes, they may even look for warm places inside structures and have been found in basements.
While garter snakes are generally solitary creatures, they generally hibernate in large numbers to prevent heat loss and keep their bodies warm. Due to their combined smell, a large group of garter snakes in or under your home can make your residence uninhabitable.
Garter snakes prefer to escape when threatened by a predator, such as your dog, but they will bite if cornered. These snakes are considered mildly venomous.
While some have kept this species collectively with no trouble at all, play it safe and keep no more than one per cage. Cannibalism has also been reported in Checkered Garter Snakes (Thamnophis marcianus) and occasionally with Common Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis).
Garter snakes hibernate during the winter in large dens called hibernacula. These dens tend to be in relatively secluded and warm spaces, such as underneath a house or in an attic. Removing the snakes and placing them outside in the cold will most likely kill them, so you have to be careful with what you do.
At birth most garter snakes are less than 6 inches long. They grow little from birth in the late summer until their first spring. From that point, they grow fairly fast, reaching a young adult length of almost 2 feet by the end of their first year.
Female common garter snakes nurture their young in their bodies until they are born. The mother gives birth to live young, she doesn't lay eggs. Newly born snakes tend to stay around their mother for several hours or days but she provides no parental care or protection after they are born.
“Garter snake” is a traditional American term for small harmless snakes with stripes running lengthwise along their bodies, resembling old-fashioned garters. It is more broadly used for all manner of small non-venomous snakes. Many folks don't get the allusion, and call them “gardener snakes” instead.
Garter snakes are shy. They will generally avoid humans and animal contact and prefer to be left alone. If you have Garter snakes in your yard or garden, chances are you may not even know.
While some mama snakes will stick around to protect their young for up to two weeks after hatching, most snakes will entirely abandon their young immediately after laying the eggs or after they hatch.
Most North American snakes are born between midsummer and early fall. Snakes are especially conspicuous in the spring when they first emerge from winter dormancy, but they actually reach their highest numbers in August and September.
between 2-3 in
Garter snakes fall under the ovoviviparous classification. The length of their eggs ranges between 2-3 in (5-8 cm).
Garter Snake Size and Growth Chart
|1 month||1.8-2.3 ounces||8-11 inches|
|6 months||2.3-2.9 ounces||11-14 inches|
|1 year||3.7-4.5 ounces||14-17 inches|
|1½ years||4.7-5.3 ounces||18-25 inches|
Jan 8, 2022