A Field Guide to the Prairie

Plains Garter Snake
Photo: Dr. Barney Oldfield
Plains Garter Snake
Thamnophis radix
Length: 38-71 cm (15-28 in.)
Habitat/Range: It is found in western Indiana through the Great Plains west to the Rocky Mountains. Plains Garter snakes prefer open grasslands and savannas. They are most often found near water in these prairie habitats.
Eating Habits: They prefer amphibians but will eat insects, fish and small mammals.

This snake has a dark brown body color with three light-colored stripes along its entire length. The middle stripe is usually a dark yellow with the other two stripes being much paler in color. Its underside is a pale green or gray.

It will also spray a musk smell if it is captured. However, it is not as aggressive as the Common Garter Snake.

On the Prairie Field Guide Index

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