Black-necked Garter Snake

Thamnophis cyrtopsis

Photo of Thamnophis cyrtopsis by John Gunn

This garter snake was photographed by John Gunn at Spur Cross Ranch, Cave Creek, Arizona in Sept. 2008. The black marking just posterior to the head, are not clear in this view.

In the Sonoran Desert garter snakes rarely venture far from water and so are restricted in their distribution to areas near riparian habitats with open water. Their food consists especially of frogs, toads, tadpoles, and aquatic invertebrates. They are non-poisonous, but will bite if mishandled and can soil the attacker with foul-smelling excrement. Like all garter snakes, the Black-necked Garter Snake gives birth to live young in spring.

Colubridae -- a Snake Family

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 6 Oct. 2008.