Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Eastern Garter Snake

Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis Wooster.jpg
"Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis Wooster" Eastern Garter Snake
Wilson44691     Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
The Eastern Garter snake is not endangered but, like most snakes, it is misunderstood and often misidentified. It is commonly seen throughout New Jersey and can be mistaken for the Eastern Ribbon snake.

You are likely to encounter this snake inside or underneath logs, wood piles and mulch piles, although they may also be found on a lawn, hunting or basking themselves in the sun.

The Garter snake is quite harmless and there is no reason to remove or harm them. If the snake feels threatened, it will emit an unpleasant odor in hopes that the predator moves away.

If a predator grabs its tail, the tail will break off and the broken portion will continue to move around as the snake escapes from the predator. The tail section can grow back.

Garter snakes eat insects, salamanders, small frogs, earthworms and will hunt day and night.

Though most snake species lay eggs, the Garter snake will give birth to 30-50 live young.

Photo by Vincent Costa - Washington Twp. Warren County.


  1. Found this guy in my back yard the other day in Washington Twp. Warren County.

  2. Vincent: The link doesn't work in that format in a comment, but I added the image to the post. Thanks for sharing a great photo.