Thamnophis eques

Scientific name:
Thamnophis equeseques

Dutch name:
Mexicaanse Kousebandslang

English name:
Mexican Garter Snake

German name:
Mexikanische Strumpfbandnatter

Thamnophis eques eques
Thamnophis eques carmenensis
Thamnophis eques cuitzeoensis
Thamnophis eques diluvialis
Thamnophis eques insperatus
Thamnophis eques megalops
Thamnophis eques obscurus
Thamnophis eques patzcuaroensis
Thamnophis eques scotti
Thamnophis eques virgatenuis

Pictures of Thamnophis eques…

Thamnophis eques eques – From southern Nayarit to the east far as the west of Central Veracruz (Mexico). In central Oaxaca there appears to live  an isolated population.
Thamnophis eques carmenensis – Tlaxcala (La Lagunilla del Carmen), Mexico.
Thamnophis eques cuitzeoensis – Michoacán, Mexico.
Thamnophis eques diluvialis – Jalisco, Cajititlán and also some isolated populations.
Thamnophis eques insperatus – Michoacán, Mexico.
Thamnophis eques megalops – From western Texas through southwestern New Mexico and Arizona to central Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, San Luis Potosi and Guanajuato into Hidalgo, Mexico.
Thamnophis eques obscurus – Jalisco, Mexico.
Thamnophis eques patzcuaroensis – Michoacán, Mexico.
Thamnophis eques scotti – Lago de Magdalena, Jalisco, Mexico.
Thamnophis eques virgatenuis – Three populations (high in the mountains), known in Mexico. One in southwestern Durango, one in western and central Chihuahua and one in northwestern Chihuahua.
On the PDF page you can find a large article about these subspecies.

Lives both in forests and in open grassland, but also in very dry areas. Even so, the species is strongly dependent on the water, and its occurrence in an area is often dependent on the presence of water, such as rivers, lakes and locks.
At both flowing and standing water, the species occurs, as long as there is vegetation present.
T. e. virgataenius mainly occurs in forests in the highlands.

Feeds mainly on amphibians and fish, but also small rodents, lizards and worms are on the menu.

The follicles (eggs in the ovaries) start to develop in the fall. Ovulation takes place in late March, early April. This autumn development of the follicles is unusual for garter snakes, because in the other species it takes place in the spring.
In the months of June, July (and in higher altitudes in August), the young are born, some 20 to 25 specimens per litter. The young are about 14 to 24 cm long at birth, depending on the subspecies.
It was determined that only half of the females annually produces young, but this does not mean that these snakes reproduce once every two years.

Since some years there are quite a lot of terrarium experiences known, especially with the “new” subspecies as scotti and cuitzeoensis.
Given the size of this species is a large terrarium with a large water basin a necessity. I kept both subspecies with a lot of “material”(plastic plants, hiding places, rocks, etc) in the terrariums. They seemed to like this.
They eat fish without problems, but sometimes refuse earthworms and snails. Switching to rodents is no problem. They are fond of chicken heart and similar food items.

All matters listed below are “general” for the species. This may be different for each subspecies.
This species can grow to more than a meter long with a record length of 112 cm.
Occurs at altitudes between 53 and 2590 meters.
According to the literature they never sunbathe at clearings, but always stay in the vegetation. This is not the case in the terrarium
Active from March to November.
My own experiences with the subspecies cuitzeoensis and scotti: they grow very fast on relatively little food.
For more detailed info per subspecies you can  take a look at the following books:
Strumpfbandnattern – Hallmen & Chlebowy
The Garter Snakes – Rossman e.a.
Strumpfbandnattern – Thomas Bourguignon
Die Strumpfbandnattern – Frank Mutschmann




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