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Thamnophis atratus atratus X zaxanthus X hydrophilus
This subspecies has been determined to be an intergradation of these subspecies of aquatic Gartersnakes in a range of the north bay area:
Thamnophis atratus atratus - Santa Cruz Gartersnake
Thamnophis atratus hydrophilus - Oregon Gartersnake
Thamnophis atratus zaxanthus - Diablo Range Gartersnake
This resembles mostly the Diablo Range subspecies with the center being more light colored instead of orange. And it has the wide light color underneath that comes up the sides more then the others. This snake has no visible red. This was a medium to large Garter.
It was first believed that Gartersnakes were nonvenomous. Turns out they found that they do have venom but in low levels that is only toxic to it's prey and not to humans or large animals.
Spotted at a golf course. It had come out of the landscaping.
I spotted this snake just after it captured a Vole. I heard the squeaking as both rolled down hill. The jaws of the snake were still separating and trying to hold onto the vole. The location lists Intergrade species all being aquatics with a diet mainly on amphibians and fish. Drought may have changed the diet on these aquatic species.
Spotted on Mar 16, 2014
Submitted on Mar 18, 2014
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