Northwestern Garter Snake

Scientific Name: Thamnophis Ordinoides

Northwestern Garter Snake

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The Northwestern Garter Snake is a non-venomous snake, which has toxic saliva. The scientific name of this snake is Thamnophis ordinoides. It is a cognizable garter snake with three stripes. However, sometimes they have faint stripes, especially near the Pacific coast. An adult Northwestern Garter Snake is either brown or black on the upper side and has red, yellow, white, orange stripes. The Northwestern Garter Snake has toxins in its saliva, which is deadly to its prey, and its bite produces unpleasant reactions in humans, though they are not considered dangerous to humans. An average snake is between 20 to 40 inches long.

Northwestern Garter Snakes Are Beautiful Creatures

Northwestern Garter Snake

Facts About Northwestern Garter Snakes

Geographic Location

They are found around the Pacific coast. They are also common on the western side of the Cascade Mountains running from northwest California to the British Columbia. They are also common along Del Norte and northern Humboldt.


Unlike its relatives, it is not found near water sources. Instead, it is found in forest clearings and sunny grass fields away from water sources. It is common in the coastal fog, in damp areas and areas with lots of vegetation. It is also found in lowland thickets and meadows. They are common around homes beneath boards and other cover.


The snake is active during the day. They feed on slugs, earthworms, occasionally snails, amphibians and at times fish. When running away, the snake changes direction fast and easily disappears.


Mating usually occurs in early spring. Live young ones are born between July and September. They give birth to their young, which they are very protective. The hide the young ones in the marsh and they are hard to trace while they are about to give birth.


They easily escape and camouflage due to the stripes. The snake is not a common pet and survives better in the world due to its feeding habits. Northwestern Garter Snakes are most commonly left along in the wild.

Northwestern Garter Snake
Snakes can’t bite food so they have to swallow it whole.