Red-sided garter snake Facts

Red-sided garter snake Facts
Red-sided garter snake belongs to the colubrid family. It can be found in Canada, USA and Mexico. Red-sided garter snake inhabits woodlands, grasslands, farmlands, hillsides, marshes, and areas near the streams and ponds. It can be occasionally found in the parks and gardens. Traffic accidents and seasonal flooding and freezing of their underground dens are major threats for the survival of red-sided garter snakes in the wild. Despite these factors, population of red-sided garter snakes is large and stable.
Interesting Red-sided garter snake Facts:
Red-sided garter snake can reach 51 inches in length and 5.3 ounces of weight. Females are larger than males.
Red-sided garter snake is dark green or black colored. Three, well-defined yellow stripes stretch along the backs and lateral sides of the body. Space between the stripes is filled with red or orange vertical bars.
Completely black red-sided garter snakes (melanistic forms) can be occasionally seen in the wild.
Red-sided garter snake has large eyes and long, slender body. Its red tongue ends with black tip.
Red-sided garter snake is mostly active in the morning and in the evening (diurnal).
Red-sided garter snake uses keen sense of smell and eyesight to detect the prey.
Red-sided garter snake is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, earthworms, leeches, insects and eggs.
Red-sided garter snake has slightly venomous saliva which easily kills frogs and other small animals (it induces only itching and swelling of the skin in humans). This snake swallows venomous rough-skinned newt and collects the toxin from the newt's body to protect itself against predators.
Natural enemies of red-sided garter snakes are large fish, snapping turtles, birds, bullfrogs and large species of snakes.
Red-sided garter snake seeks protection in the water when it is faced with danger. It also releases foul-smelling substance to repel the predators.
Red-sided garter snake hibernates during the winter. Hundreds or thousands of red-sided garter snakes spend coldest period of year inside deep crevices of rocks or in the sinkhole on the pastures.
Mating season takes place during the spring and autumn. Red-sided garter snakes mate on the wintering grounds. 10 or more males form mating balls around one or two females. The most dominant males get opportunity to mate.
Female gives birth to 10 to 30 live babies during the summer and fall. Most red-sided garter snakes are born in the shrubby and rocky areas, where they are safe from the predators. In the northern areas, females reproduce once every two years.
Newly born red-sided garter snakes need to fend for themselves from the moment of birth. They reach sexual maturity at the age of 2 to 3 years.
Red-sided garter snake can survive 2 to 4 years in the wild and 6 to 10 years in the captivity.

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