Snakes - Continued


Plains Garter Snake

( Thamnophis radix )

Photo by Hoberg and Gause

Plains garter snakes are very similar to common garter snakes. They can be identified by three stripes, with the middle stripe often being bright orange or yellow. The side stripe may take on a bluish-green hue. A double row of spots between the stripes can also be found.

These snakes are found inhabiting grasslands around marshes, pond edges, coulee bottoms, and prairie potholes. Frogs and minnows make up the diet of these snakes but they also eat a wide variety of insects.

Redbelly Snake

( Storeria occipitomaculata )

Photo by Hoberg and Gause

Redbelly snakes are North Dakota's smallest snakes, as they seldom exceed 12 inches in length. Their name is appropriate as their bellies have a bright red to salmon color. These snakes are seldom seen due to their small size, shyness, and nocturnal habits. Redbelly snakes vary from light to dark brown, gray or chestnut. This coloration also makes the redbelly snakes hard to see in their habitat. They live in or around woodlands, and prefer the margins of woodlands for foraging. They hide during the day under stones, boards, rotten logs, or other forest cover and come out toward evening. Their diet is very specific. They will feed on small earthworms, and beetle larvae, but prefer slugs.

These small snakes hibernate in ant mounds during the winter. They mate in the spring and the females give birth to one to 21.

Smooth Green Snake

( Opheodrys vernalis )

Photo by Dave Angell

Smooth green snakes, also known as green grass snakes, are bright green with a white chin and belly. Their long narrow mouths give them a smiling appearance.: They are gentle snakes and have not been known to bite or defend themselves when handled.

These snakes are seldom seen due to their camouflage which blends in with their grassy habitat.

Smooth green snakes feed on grasshoppers, caterpillars, spiders, insects and earthworms.

More Snakes.

More Reptiles and Amphibians.


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Last modified Nov. 4, 1995