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Northwestern Garter Snake

Thamnophis ordinoides


"The northwestern garter snake is small, with adults averaging around 36–53 cm (14–21 inches) in total length. It is one of the most variable species of snakes in the world."


"Thamnophis ordinoides is most commonly found on the edge of meadows, surrounded by forest, as some sunshine is needed for their survival. They can also be found under stumps when it is too hot out."


My cats often bring in wildlife, and I do my best to save the little critters. This snake was doing just fine defending itself with its stinky secretion. "The saliva of a garter snake may be toxic to amphibians and other small animals. For humans, a bite is not dangerous, though it may cause slight itching, burning, and/or swelling. Most garter snakes also secrete a foul-smelling fluid from postanal glands when handled or harmed." After my kitties did a bit of sniffing and poking, I picked up the snake and put him back outside. No harm done!

1 Species ID Suggestions

pseudacris 8 years ago
Northwestern Garter Snake
Thamnophis ordinoides

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1 Comment

Maria dB
Maria dB 8 years ago

Great that you were able to rescue the snake! Nice series

Spotted by

Washington, USA

Spotted on Oct 20, 2010
Submitted on Jan 14, 2013

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