Thamnophis eques species…: the Mexican Gartersnake species…
Before 2003 only 3 subspecies of Thamnophis eques were known to exist: Thamnophis eques eques, Thamnophis eques megalops and Thamnophis eques virgatenuis. In 2003 the famous (late) herpetologist Roger Conant (Conant, 2003) publishes an article about his observations on this species done the 60-ties of the previous century. He described 7 new subspecies: Thamnophis eques carmensis, Thamnophis eques cuitzeoensis, Thamnophis eques diluvialis, Thamnophis eques insperatus, Thamnophis eques obscurus, Thamnophis eques patzcuaroensis and Thamnophis eques scotti. These new subspecies are all found in isolated habitats in the volcanic highlands of middle Mexico.
Thamnophis eques occurs in a large part of Mexico and in some isolated populations in the United States of America (Arizona and New Mexico).
The species always occurs close to water and is highly aquatic.
They are found in swamps, rives, pools and large lakes.
The Mexican Gartersnake does very well in captivity. Due to its large size its recommended to keep them in a terrarium with a minimum size (for one adult couple) of 100 x 50 x 50 cm. They do well in a dry and well ventilated cage with just a water bowl for swimming and drinking. The water bowl should be big enough for them to submerge in. Local temperatures in the terrarium should rise to 30 – 35 °C. Hibernation is for most subspecies (probably with exception of T.e.megalops and T.e.virgatenuis) not necessary, but night temperatures in winter may easily drop to 5 – 10 °C.
A very nice and attractive way for keeping this species is giving them a very large aqua terrarium with a lot of water. The dry part could consist of a floating plateau. The cage should be very well ventilated and the dry land part should be kept at 30 – 35 °C during day time so the snakes can bask and completely dry.