On this Newspages I will report (some of) my observations on Gartersnakes (and to a lesser extend Watersnakes) that I have done over the past years during my trips to the USA, Canada and Mexico.
I will also make some notes of observation done on Gartersnakes in my own outdoor terrarium where amongst others a small group of Thamnophis radix is kept for many years year-round outside.
Observing these fantastic snakes in the wild is a thrilling experience which I enjoy immensely. It provides valuable information and it gives an extra dimension on keeping and breeding Gartersnakes.
Gartersnakes occur in very different kind of habitats on the North American continent.
For example, in some places they are forced to undergo a whole long winter sometimes rest under a thick snow. In some places (for instance in the West of Texas where I observed the T. marcianus at 1200 m altitude in the mountains) winters seem so at first glance (with day temperatures of 15-18 ° C) mild enough to year around active, but also keep the animals calm of a winter here for many months.
At some places they will really remain active throughout the year.
I hope you enjoy it as much (read) as I’ve done.
In a spacious outdoor terrarium behind my shed I keep Gartersnakes for many years, including Thamnophis radix. They like to stay year-round in this outside terrarium.
I think it is a fantastic experience every time to observations to do in the wild. It delivers valuable information on what gives an extra dimension to keeping and breeding of Gartersnakes.
Gartersnakes appear in very different biotopes on the North American continent.
In the more northern and high elevation habitats they are forced to endure for example a very long hibernation underneath a thick layer of snow. But also in areas where one would not suspect a hibernation period (like for instance western Texas where Thamnophis marcianus occurs in the mountains at an elevation of 1200 meters above sea level) I have witnessed an absence of the snakes for many months.
There are also areas where the snakes can be observed almost year round.
I hope you enjoy reading these observations as much as I enjoyed witnessing them…