Thamnophis radix

Scientific name:
Thamnophis radixradix

Dutch name:

English name:
Plains garter snake

German name:

None, but till 1996 two subspecies were widely accepted (Thamnophis radix haydeni and Thamnophis radix radix). These are now invalid.

Pictures of Thamnophis radix…

From Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba (Canada) southward through eastern Montana, Wyoming and Colorado up to in north-eastern New Mexico and Oklahoma. From there east along the Great Plains into southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois and north-western Indiana.
Isolated populations are found in West Central Ohio, in Missouri and neighbouring Illinois (near St. Louis).

Prairie- and agriculture areas. In lakes, ditches, canals, marshes, rivers and ponds. Also appears in cities in the parks and gardens.

Fish, amphibians, earthworms, insects, mice and even carrion.

Copulations usually take place in the spring, but sometimes also in autumn.
The young are born between June and September (dependent on the distribution range)A litter, on average, consists of 25 to 30 young, but litters of approximately 60 specimen are also known. There is one litter known of 92 young!
The young are between 15 and 23 cm long at birth.

Two or three adult specimens of this species belong in a large terrarium. A medium-sized water bowl, in which all the snakes can lie in, is big enough. Some climbing branches and hiding places must also be present.
This species has a calm nature and usually does not mind to be handled.  Does not make many demands about how the terrarium is “furnished”.  Does well in all kinds of terrariums. Is an easy eater.
A brumation of about 3 months is desired.
This species is increasingly being bred in many colours, such as albino, snow, amelanistic, etc.

Length of the males up to 85 cm women up to 105/110 cm.
Occurs at altitudes between 120 and 2290 meters.
In the northern part of the range they sometimes massively share brumation dens.
This species occurs in some areas en masse (highest local population densities of all Thamnophis species).


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