Exiled Garter Snake

Thamnophis exsul Rossman, 1969

Alternate Name Montane Garter Snake
Spanish Name Culebra de Agua Nómada de Montaña
Max. Recorded Length 46.3 cm / 18.2 inches
Range Coahuila, Nuevo Leon
Pet Trade Availability ☆☆☆☆ not available

Note: These species pages are in various stages of completion. Some are basically finished; others are very much under construction. Please be patient while I work on this section.

The Exiled Garter Snake is both the smallest garter snake species known (the largest specimen found was only 18 inches long) and the rarest (10 collected specimens from just three localities in northeastern Mexico). It has been found in montane meadows at high elevations.

Like North American rat snakes, the Exiled Garter Snake exhibits ontogenetic change: juveniles start out spotted; in adults the spotting becomes obscured.

Captive Care

This rare snake is not kept in captivity.

If you have experience with this species and would like to share, please contact me.

For general information on keeping garter snakes in captivity, please see the Care Guide.

Articles and News


Liner, Ernest A. 1994. Scientific and Common Names for the Amphibians and Reptiles of Mexico in English and Spanish. SSAR Herpetological Circular No. 23.

Rossman, Douglas A., Neil B. Ford and Richard A. Seigel. 1996. The Garter Snakes: Evolution and Ecology. Norman OK: University of Oklahoma Press.