1. Books About Garter Snakes
  2. General Snake Care
  3. Guides to North American Snakes
  4. Regional Field Guides
  5. Children’s Books

This site is an associate of I receive a commission on each book sold through this site. Buying a book through this site helps pay my web hosting bills and keeps my snakes fat and happy. Your support is appreciated!

Books About Garter Snakes

Garter and Ribbon Snakes by Richard and Patricia Bartlett
A basic guide for beginners. Lots of great photos of many different kinds of garter snakes.
Garter and Water Snakes by David Perlowin
Ostensibly a new (2005) edition, but little if anything has changed from the 1992 edition. Much information out of date. Also covers water snakes, which is a plus.
The Garter Snakes: Evolution and Ecology by Douglas A. Rossman, Neil B. Ford and Richard A. Seigel
A scientific monograph; very thorough and the definitive reference. Covers seldom seen Mexican and Central American species. Contains a chapter on captive care. May be too complex for beginners. Expensive.
The Garter Snakes: Natural History and Care in Captivity by Roger Sweeney
Dated and frankly not very informative. Not recommended.

General Snake Care

Snakes of the United States and Canada: Natural History and Care in Captivity by John and Roxanne Rossi
The definitive reference to the captive care of all North American snake species, including the more obscure species. Obviously not focused solely on garter snakes, but the sections on garters are very good. Very expensive, but worth it.
What’s Wrong with My Snake? by John and Roxanne Rossi
The standard short reference on snake medical care. Useful for identifying problems early and fixing them before a costly trip to the vet is necessary. Anyone who owns a snake should have this book.

Guides to North American Snakes

Snakes of the United States and Canada by Carl and Evelyn Ernst
A massive book with lots of scientific detail and great photography.
North American Watersnakes: A Natural History by J. Whitfield Gibbons and Michael E. Dorcas
Anyone interested in garter snakes should be interested in water snakes. This book also covers other aquatic natricines (black swamp snakes and queen and crayfish snakes).
Snakes of North America: Eastern and Central Regions by Alan Tennant
Revised edition of this handy guide aimed at amateurs; its western counterpart appears to be out of print in the older edition.

Regional Field Guides

See the state and provincial pages under the species section.

Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan.

United States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Children’s Books

The Snake Scientist by Sy Montgomery
Ages 9-12; looks at Dr. Robert Mason’s studies of Red-sided Garter Snakes in Manitoba.
A Gathering of Garter Snakes by Bianca Lavies
Ages 9-12; also looks at the Red-sided Garter Snakes in Manitoba.