ONH

  • 1635
  • 1508
  • 0673
  • 3511
  • 3517
  • 0035
  • 0036
  • 4943
  • 2934
  • 1635
    1 - A garter snake, Thamnophis sp.. resting on a gravel road.

    05/15/2007 Sequim, Washington

  • 1508
    2 - The same individual as in slide 1.

    05/15/2007 Sequim, Washington

  • 0673
    3 - Garter Snake.

    04/19/2007 Mouth of the Elwha River, Port Angeles, Washington

  • 3511
    4 - A garter snake tasting its environment.

    06/18/2007 Mouth of the Elwha River, Port Angeles, Washington

  • 3517
    5 - Garter Snake.

    05/23/2008 Mouth of the Elwha River, Port Angeles, Washington

  • 0035
    6 - A common raven caught this large garter snake in front of our house.

    06/16/2011 Heart O' the Hills Area, Olympic National Park, Washington

  • 0036
    7 - Then it flew away.

    06/16/2011 Heart O' the Hills Area, Olympic National Park, Washington

  • 4943
    8 - Here’s a close up of a garter snake eye showing the reflection from its eye cover. the brown bar is a metal parking barrier. The snake was sunning on the pavement of the parking area.

    08/02/2004 Port Angeles, Washington

  • 2934
    9 - When a garter snake is about to shed its skin, the eye cover becomes clouded.

Three species of garter snakes occur in the Pacific Northwest and it’s not always easy to distinguish the species, especially from photos.

The eye cover in a garter snake is so smooth that it makes a good mirror (slide 9). They eat many small animals, including small mammals, slugs and some even eat the toxic Rough-skinned Newt (see Amphibians in the menu).

Garter snakes, while generally considered safe for humans to handle, do produce a mild venom that may aid them in prey capture or defense.

(Biochemistry And Pharmacology Of Colubrid Snake Venoms Stephen P. Mackessy, J. Toxicol.—Toxin Reviews, 21(1&2), 43–83 2002)

Colubrid Venom Composition: An -Omics Perspective, Inácio L. M. Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Pollyanna F. Campos, Ana T. C. Ching and Stephen P. Mackessy, Toxins 2016, 8, 230