Best looking Thamnophis elegans

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jamison
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Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by jamison » July 12th, 2010, 7:38 am

Fellow herpers,

I'm a venom-junkie through and through. Call me a snake snob if you must, but I am a firm believer that not all snakes are created equal. That said, I "try" to appreciate all the herps I come across and recently took a couple of photos of a Wandering Garter for the first time. They are by far the most common snake I come across (I live by a creek), but I generally catch them, make sure they are not sirtalis, and quickly let them go. In the spirit of trying to overcome my biased ways, and trying to get FHF back up to speed from the crash, I thought I would request that you post pics of the best looking Wandering Garters you have seen in the field. The one I found Saturday was the best I have seen to date, and I will post my pics tonight or tomorrow. Thanks all for your participation! I know we have some Garter fans here. Whattayagot?

Thanks!

Jamison

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herpseeker1978
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by herpseeker1978 » July 12th, 2010, 8:24 am

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Josh

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Biker Dave
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by Biker Dave » July 12th, 2010, 8:36 am

OK, its not a T. elegans, but its all I have.... Blacknecked Garter Snake, Yavapai County AZ

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TravisK
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by TravisK » July 12th, 2010, 8:53 am

This is usually how I find them,
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Same specimen above and below, caught North of Davenport WA about 20 miles.
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I am to the point that I typically don't even bother to pick this species up any more due to the strong must. LOL, normal folks think I am strange when I spout out that I smell a snakes and/or beetles. But once you know certain scents you don't forget them. I like this photo because it captures what this snake is all about in the hands of a human.
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jamison
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by jamison » July 12th, 2010, 8:56 am

Here's a crappy pic of the critter I caught Saturday. Better photos to come. The term blond definitely comes to mind.

Broad high-yellow dorsal stripe and yellow sides with a light background and perfect spotting the length of the body.

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by Bryan Hamilton » July 12th, 2010, 10:08 am

Melanistic Thamnophis elegans, Nevada

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More typical Nevada female:

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justinm
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by justinm » July 12th, 2010, 11:12 am

This one was found at 9000'. I don't know if that's significant or not.

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Ryan Sikola
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by Ryan Sikola » July 12th, 2010, 1:24 pm

Thamnophis elegans terrestris

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Paul White
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by Paul White » July 12th, 2010, 1:35 pm

I can count the thamnophis I've seen since I moved to the Panhandle on one hand. I saw more living at 8500 in the rockies than I do in the (fairly) snake heavy Texas panhandle. No idea what gives, but keep 'em coming cause they remind me of Colorado.

ThomWild
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by ThomWild » July 12th, 2010, 2:30 pm

Here are a few from Utah.

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-Thomas

jamison
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by jamison » July 13th, 2010, 3:30 am

Bryan, I can't compete with your melanistic Garter. Too cool! As peomised, here are a couple more pics of the best looking T. elegans I have seen.
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Jim Scott
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by Jim Scott » July 13th, 2010, 7:59 pm

Here are a couple of Thamnophis elegans terrestris:
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chrish
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by chrish » July 13th, 2010, 9:05 pm

Jim,

That first one is not only a stunning snake, but a great photo.
That will be hard to beat.

Brian Eagar
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by Brian Eagar » July 13th, 2010, 9:16 pm

I love t.elegans. All nice animals posted but
Sweet vagrans Bryan and Jamison.
Jim those t.e.terrestris are too sweet. I've never seen one like the first one. Wow!! :thumb:

Here are some of my favorite vagrans:
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Bryan_Hughes
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by Bryan_Hughes » July 14th, 2010, 8:20 am

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ssssnakeluvr
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by ssssnakeluvr » July 14th, 2010, 9:33 pm

Here's some of mine.....

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ssssnakeluvr
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by ssssnakeluvr » July 14th, 2010, 9:39 pm

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ssssnakeluvr
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by ssssnakeluvr » July 14th, 2010, 9:43 pm

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melanistic from Montana

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Shaun Vought
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by Shaun Vought » July 15th, 2010, 5:39 pm

Jamison and Brian,

Jamison - the garter you found looks very much like one of the garters that Brian posted a picture of. You two should meet up and discuss the similarities of the two snakes. Who knows they may have been found in the same field and be the same snake. I'm interested to hear what you guys come up with.

Brian - you definitely have found some of the best looking wandering garters out there. Although they are not my favorite snake I can absolutely appreciate them and how variable they are.

Shaun Vought

hellihooks
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by hellihooks » July 16th, 2010, 10:39 am

Not a Wandering... but the nicest garter I've had so far... :D
Coast garter... Santa Cruz Mts
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jim

jamison
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by jamison » July 16th, 2010, 12:59 pm

Brian,

I don't know if they qualify as prettiest or not, but the snakes in your third and fourth pics are wicked cool. Sweet pics to you and everyone else. Ditto on the terrestris comment!

Shaun,
Until you post some pics of sweet looking T. elegans, you are invited to keep your thoughts to yourself. That said, Brian and I coordinated our vacation days, and scheduled a holiday weekend to accommodate travel time, so that we could together as you suggested, but only to exchange pleasantries and common anecdotal trends of our loathing toward you.

I am hesitant to report that we had a minor disagreement over which of the snakes in question was the best looking, so we decided to settle it with an arm wrestling competition. Eagar was shirts and I was skins, so the fans could keep track of the battle. Unfortunately, Brian scraped his elbow and I got sand in my bellybutton, so we called it a draw and had to move to Indian leg wrestling to settle it. Like tennis, the official ILW rule book states that the victor must win by two, but being tied after 3 hours and 47 wins each, we gave up and decided to rely on a feat that would require much more brawn, as well as brains, to settle this all important matter.

To be continued....

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Chad M. Lane
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by Chad M. Lane » July 16th, 2010, 7:30 pm

I can't believe no one has posted any Thamnophis elegans elegans yet?

Here is a few.

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And a terrestris.


Cheers,
Chad

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Carl Koch
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by Carl Koch » July 16th, 2010, 9:33 pm

Some real stunners here, guys! Keep 'em comin'!

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kysnakeguy
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by kysnakeguy » July 17th, 2010, 5:28 pm

sorry at the moment i have no photos but , im leaveing for colorado 2maro so expect some soon :thumb:

hellihooks
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by hellihooks » July 18th, 2010, 7:14 am

jamison wrote: Shaun,
Until you post some pics of sweet looking T. elegans, you are invited to keep your thoughts to yourself. That said, Brian and I coordinated our vacation days, and scheduled a holiday weekend to accommodate travel time, so that we could together as you suggested, but only to exchange pleasantries and common anecdotal trends of our loathing toward you.

I am hesitant to report that we had a minor disagreement over which of the snakes in question was the best looking, so we decided to settle it with an arm wrestling competition. Eagar was shirts and I was skins, so the fans could keep track of the battle. Unfortunately, Brian scraped his elbow and I got sand in my bellybutton, so we called it a draw and had to move to Indian leg wrestling to settle it. Like tennis, the official ILW rule book states that the victor must win by two, but being tied after 3 hours and 47 wins each, we gave up and decided to rely on a feat that would require much more brawn, as well as brains, to settle this all important matter.

To be continued....
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: jim

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Jeremiah_Easter
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by Jeremiah_Easter » July 19th, 2010, 5:56 pm

Here is a partially melanistic one from Klickitat county I caught a few days ago. I kinda like it better than the full melanistic ones.

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herpseeker1978
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by herpseeker1978 » July 19th, 2010, 7:36 pm

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sorry, couldn't resist :lol:

Josh

ElegansComplex
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by ElegansComplex » July 20th, 2010, 3:01 pm

I know you requested T.e.vagrans, but I for some reason don't have good pics of them. Here are some pics of some of the western variations though:

Umpqua river T. elegans elegans (Oregon), starting to get the "Willamette valley" look
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Willamette valley morph of T. elegans elegans (Oregon)
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Melanistic Klamath Garter Snake (actually, this morph is dark because it lacks light pigments rather than an overexpression of melanin, giving it a "hollow" look)
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These are the garters I love, really old, scarred, ugly ones. You know they've lived a life. Klamath Garter, Modoc county, CA
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Another Klamath garter, meaty gravid female from the Klamath River
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And a terrestris
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troy hibbitts
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by troy hibbitts » July 20th, 2010, 5:32 pm

SW NM
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NC NM
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E NM
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one of my favorite elegans pix is this one though
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Troy

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t3ch
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by t3ch » July 20th, 2010, 6:01 pm

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Plains Garter from Pueblo, CO

ElegansComplex
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by ElegansComplex » July 21st, 2010, 9:39 am

This isn't my photo, but if we're going for most interesting Ardea-Thamnophis interaction, it definitely gets my vote:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/grantsview ... 0/sizes/o/

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Schell
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by Schell » July 21st, 2010, 11:53 am

These are a cross between T.e. vagrans and T.e. elegans. They are also probably some of my best snake shots to-date.

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And then the juvie of the same variety, but very very ugly... HA!

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ElegansComplex
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by ElegansComplex » July 21st, 2010, 12:08 pm

Rob, nice photos. Where were the parents from on your snake? Or was it a natural cross?

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Schell
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by Schell » July 21st, 2010, 1:23 pm

It's a natural cross. I was in their contact zone in the southern sierra last weekend.

Brian Eagar
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Re: Best looking Thamnophis elegans

Post by Brian Eagar » July 23rd, 2010, 3:39 pm

Very nice garters everyone.

ElegansComplex:
I love the Willamette valley variety. Someday I'll make it up there to see one.
Do you have a full body shot of the melanistic Klamath? Are melanistic Klamaths common?

Shaun,
Jamison's garter is very similar to that one I posted but they were found about 60 miles away from each other.
Mine was from the same locality as my melanistic on the same day.

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