The term ‘Garter Snake’, usually also called grass or garden snakes, refers to around twenty species of non-venomous snakes that are found all over the US. They can also be found in abundant numbers in Central America, Mexico, and southern parts of Canada. Most garter snakes are banded or striped lengthwise, with some having spots between the stripes. They can grow up to 60 cm, or 2 feet, in length. Less aquatic compared to the water snakes that they are related to garter snakes can usually be found in the vicinity of water in dry areas and are distributed widely in moist areas. The female garter snake gives birth to large litters of live young, often numbering up to 50, or even more.
The Hunting and Feeding Habits of the Garter Snake
When hunting, the garter snake relies chiefly on its sight, hearing by sensing the vibrations on the ground, smell and taste. The last two senses are used in combination with the Jacobson’s organ, which occurs in the mouth’s roof. Garter snakes are very agile, a feature which helps them to capture their prey successfully. They hunt for their prey in the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning, early evening, and even late afternoon.
Like all snakes, the garter snake is carnivorous. It eats just about anything that it can overpower such as frogs, rodents, fish, birds, lizards, leeches, insects, earthworms, and slugs. When they live near water, they hunt and eat other aquatic animals. They swallow their food whole. Even though their diet comprises mostly of live animals, sometimes they will even eat eggs.