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Eastern Garter Snake

Thamnophis sirtalis


This was one grouchy little snake. It started flattening itself up and striking as soon as I came into sight. When I crouched down to get the camera closer it actually bit the tip of one of my fingers that was exposed around the edge of the camera. A group of several mountain bikers had passed that way just a few minutes before me, which might explain why it was so agitated. Garter snakes are common everywhere from people's yards to swamps to deep in upland woods, which is where I spotted this one.

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CarolSnowMilne 8 years ago

Wow, I just read that this one was aggressive.

CarolSnowMilne 8 years ago

Congratulations! This is the type of snake I mostly see or spot slithering away. Very non-aggressive. Nice markings!

ScottRasmussen 8 years ago

Thanks! Nice article about some amazing and misunderstood creatures.

KarenL 8 years ago

Congratulations Scott, your spotting is featured in the Project Noah blog today!

Hema 8 years ago

Beautiful snake!

NeilDazet 8 years ago

Why I like this spotting: It shows a defensive posture where the snake flattens out its head and body (esp. in the 3rd photo). It does this to make itself look bigger to potential predators. Often when people see a snake with wide triangular shaped head, they assume its venomous. As seen here in these photos, even the very common garter snake can sport this characteristic.

harsuame 8 years ago

Sensacional la postura de defensa y su color en las escamas

AschaRiess 8 years ago

Nice shot!

ScottRasmussen 8 years ago

That spotting is very interesting. I knew they were rear-fanged and mildly venomous, but had never heard about it's effects on someone. They're usually quick to escape when they're spotted, but this isn't the first one I've encountered that's chosen to stand its ground.

KarenL 8 years ago

Nice spot! I've revised my opinion that these are docile little guys after seeing Janson's recent spotting

Spotted by

Massachusetts, USA

Spotted on May 27, 2012
Submitted on May 30, 2012

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