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New and Interesting

Why Do Garter Snake Keepers Like Garter Snakes?

Earlier this year I explored some of the reasons why garter snakes are underrated and overlooked by reptile keepers. Those reasons included their ordinariness, their messiness, and their (supposed) unwillingness to eat mice, all of which I shot down with extreme prejudice.

Some of us, though, like garter snakes very much. I certainly do, or I wouldn’t have built this website; in fact, I think that garter snakes, for all their ordinariness and stinkiness, are my favourite snakes of all. (And that’s saying something: I’m fond of an awful lot of snakes, including bullsnakes, fox snakes, rosy boas and a whole bunch of others.) Since you’re reading this, I suspect you might be fond of them too.

In this article, I’d like to explore some of the reasons why those of us who like garter snakes like them as much as we do — and why reptile keepers choose garter snakes over other kinds of snakes.


Why Don’t Reptile Keepers Appreciate Garter Snakes?
Articles, I look at some of the reasons why garter snakes aren’t more popular among reptile keepers. »
Keeping Garter Snakes Outdoors
Questions, Recently I’ve received a couple of questions from readers who want to know about keeping garter snakes outdoors. Now I understand that this is actually done in Europe: garter snake keepers there set up these elaborate backyard facilities to house… »
‘That Reptile Smell’ and Beginner Garters
Questions, Jack writes: Hi! I’m 13 years old and am looking into getting a garter snake. I have a suitable enclosure and equipment and can provide food, read your care guide along with some others, and there is now just one… »
Keeping Garter Snakes Safe from Cats
Questions, A question by e-mail from earlier today: “My 15-year-old daughter wants a garter snake, but we have two cats who’d love to eat a tasty, wriggly snake given the chance! How would I keep her snake safe? (She’ll be taking… »

News and Updates

Garter Snakes on a Snowbank

This video was taken last May, at the Narcisse Snake Dens in Manitoba, but with winter well under way (it’s snowing outside as I write this) it seems timely nonetheless. It shows Red-sided Garter Snakes using a snowbank as a water source. (As the narrator explains, this was on a warm day: they’re tough, but they’re not that tough.) Check out the sidewinding across the snow about a minute in! Via the Garter Snakes Facebook group.


New Plan to Protect Giant Garter
News, A $4-million plan by California’s Department of Water Resources to protect the threatened Giant Garter Snake will allow for larger swaths of its wetland habitat to be preserved, the Stockton Record reports…. »
Background on Two Threatened Snakes
News, Some more information to help us understand the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to add the Mexican and Narrow-headed Garter Snake to the federal endangered species list as Threatened species. The Payson Roundup’s Pete Aleshire provides some necessary context… »
USFWS Proposes Adding Two Garter Snakes to Endangered Species List
News, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a proposal to add two garter snakes found in the U.S. southwest to the federal endangered species list: the Mexican Garter Snake (Thamnophis eques) and the Narrow-headed Garter Snake (Thamnophis rufipunctatus). Both… »
Mexican Garter Snake Rediscovered in New Mexico
News, Until last month, the Mexican Garter Snake (Thamnophis eques) hadn’t been seen in New Mexico, where it’s listed as endangered, since 1994. But after years of searching, biologists from the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo discovered a population of this species along… »