Thamnophis elegans

WesternTerrestrial Garter Snake




Range: Southwestern Canada to Baja , CA; east to South Dakota and south to Northern Mexico

Size: Max ~3 feet


Active: diurnal

Habitat: close to water & varied; grasslands at sea level to mountain meadows at 9000 feet

Captive Care: 10 gal aquarium (single adult) to 20 gal aquarium (pair of adults) or large plastic sweater box; substrate: newsprint, paper towels, 1:1 sand:peat moss, orchid bark; water should be ~1/4 of cage area (e.g., medium dog water bowl); hide (e.g., cork bark round); undertank heat or incandescent light at one end of cage to provide heat.

Temp.: temp gradient 72 -84F (22 - 29C) daytime; 68 - 74F night; do NOT exceed 88F (31C)

Foods: mice, fish, earthworms, small snakes

Breeding: brumation: 4-5 months, l0w 50’s F (10-15C)
litter size: 10-15 babies

Mehrtens, John M. (1987) Living Snakes of the World. Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. New York.
Perlowin, David (1994) The General Care and Maintenance of Garter Snakes & Water Snakes. Advanced Vivarium Systems, Inc. Lakeside, CA 92040.

Notes: if not in breeding mode, female may kill male (if pestered)

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