CHECKERED GARTER SNAKE
Photo © by Suzanne L. Collins
Used by permission
THREATENED SPECIES IN KANSAS
Length in Kansas up to 33 1/4 inches.
Found in southcentral and southwestern Kansas in the counties that border Oklahoma,
from Sumner County in the east to Morton County in the west.
Harmless. Rough scales. A serpent with three stripes down the back; those on each
side are situated on the second and third scale rows (counting up from belly). The edges
of the stripe down middle of back are uneven because they are invaded by dark spots (part
of a checkerboard pattern located between the stripes); a large yellow or cream
crescent-shaped mark on each side of the head behind the angle of the jaw. Belly cream or
yellowish. Young look like miniature adults.
Very secretive. Active from April to October; apparently forages along edge of
aquatic areas, but is not restricted to them. Sometimes found on canyon hillsides.
Breeding occurs in spring; 6-18 young are born from June to August. Feeds on earthworms,
fishes, amphibians and probably small rodents.
Click here for
information on precautions against being bitten by snakes
and what to do if you have been bitten by one.
Text: Joseph T. Collins & Suzanne L. Collins
Photos: Suzanne L. Collins & Bob Gress
Range Maps & Web Design: Jim Mason