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by Valerie

May, 2014

Eastern Blackneck Garter Snake

eastern blackneck garter snake

The bold and eye-catching colors on the eastern blackneck garter snake (Thamnophis cyrtopsis ocellatus) make it impossible to confuse with any other species in our area. Related to ribbon snakes, this garter snake also hunts amphibians, as well as the occasional small fish. Our ponds provide the prey, while the almost-never-disturbed compost bins offer a cozy and safe retreat. The eastern blackneck garter snake is relatively common and found only in central Texas. It is a medium-sized snake and not particularly aggressive; although large individuals may bite if molested, the usual defense is to discharge smelly feces. Like other garter snakes, it bears live young.

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