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Checkered Garter Snake

Thamnophis marcianus


Wish I knew how to approach snakes for a decent shot or two, but this is the best I could do! There were tons of these hanging around some natural springs we took a swim in, and they would probably be about a foot long, stretched out.


Usually found on the ground, but we saw that one had absolutely no problem swimming downstream, and the tail suggests that it could be a water snake.


Eventually, we saw so many of these on our swim that no one bothered to worry if there was or wasn't one in the water with us; usually there always was.

2 Species ID Suggestions

Checkered Garter Snake
Thamnophis marcianus marcianus
Black-necked Gartersnake
Thamnophis cyrtopsis

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AshleyT 8 years ago

Great photo! Please be sure to add this to the Snakes of the United States – CSC mission to help with their citizen science project!

GeoffreyPalmer 9 years ago

Despite the black checkering, this individual has a bright orange-yellow mid-dorsal stripe & 2 black neck crescents making it a black- necked Gartersnake.

Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez 9 years ago

Thank you Chris! It seems to be right up until subspecies; for now, T. marcianus is a great bet. I mean with photos this blurry, I'm happy you had the eye to figure out species! :)

Ivan Rodriguez
Spotted by
Ivan Rodriguez

Tucson, Arizona, USA

Spotted on Oct 14, 2011
Submitted on Oct 16, 2011

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