Facts about Garter Snakes. "Scientific name for Garter snake is Thamnophis sirtalis". The Garter Snake Thamnophis and colubrids, (member of colubridae, a widespread and non-venomous group of snakes) they are found throughout North America. Garter snake, Thamnophis sirtaris is one of the most common snake in the snake family, it is found in as far north as Alaska and as south as New Mexico. Varying according to species, garter snakes are generally striped against a checkered or plain background color. Even the Garter Snake with vivid yellow and red stripes or yellow ventral scales are quick to blend in with their background in the wild. The cold blooded Garter snake, underneath their scaly skin, snakes have internal organs and bones like those of other vertebrates. Most of these organs have been modified for the snake way of life, especially for swallowing prey whole and the need for speed, to escape predators and catch pray. It can swallow small pray alive and the Garter snake will unhinge its jaw before swallowing larger pray. This allows a wide variety of pray to be swallowed without to many problems. The backward pointing teeth and throat muscles are used to work the pray slowly down into the stomach.
The name Garter snake comes from the fact that the stripes resembles a garter. Garter snakes have 28 different species of snakes and even more sub-species. In captivity a Garter snake will live between 3 to 10 years, they usually do not grow to any great size, reaching about three feet (.91 meters) with a very narrow girth. In the wild a garter snake will reach between 2 and 5 feet (.61 to 1.52 meters) in length.
There are far more males then female Garter snakes. Therefore, males will try and mate any females anytime. Garter snakes live in the colder temperatures they need to hibernate in winter. If you find hibernating Garter snakes there might be 30 in a den. Males, upon emerging from hibernation will form a so called mating ball around a female. They wrap themselves around each other, trying to mate. To insure that there are young in the spring, mating often occurs in late spring as well: the sperm is stored until the spring. If there is successful mating in the spring, the fall sperm is allowed to degenerate. The Garter snake has live babies and a litter usually consists of 15 to 20 but can have lower numbers.
Garter snakes are usually found near water or moist places, such as river banks, marshes, streams, damp logs, gardens, farms, piles of sticks and rock piles.