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Western terrestrial garter snake

Thamnophis elegans


A thin snake emerged from a tree hole to bask for a few seconds in the afternoon and quickly slithered underneath a tree root. Agile and skittish. Some individuals of this species are semi-aquatic.


Seen in an old growth forest near the Ohanapecosh River in western Washington's Mount Rainier National Park. The trees in this forest are perhaps hundreds, or even 1000, years old.


Subspecies of the western terrestrial garter are very difficult to identify, especially without getting closer. I noticed that this snake had a smaller overall size and lateral red spots, which at least helped ID it to the species level.

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mauna Kunzah
mauna Kunzah 11 months ago

Thank you for the lovely comment, Tukup. You certainly have a penchant for snakes.

Congratulations to you as well!

Tukup 11 months ago

Love snakes Mauna. Especially when they get you a new patch, huh :-). Congratulations. On the ranger hat too. Well-deserved. Thanks for all your help as I've learned the ropes of PN.

mauna Kunzah
Spotted by
mauna Kunzah

Washington, USA

Spotted on Jun 13, 2019
Submitted on Oct 5, 2019

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