Garter ID

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
millmoss
Posts: 51
Joined: June 14th, 2012, 7:30 am

Garter ID

Post by millmoss » June 1st, 2013, 6:47 pm

Note from my old neighbor:

We found this snake on a hike today. High Sierras, up on Donner Summit.

Here's the pic:

Image

So based on where they found it and the range maps and a general likeness, I would have said Thamnophis elegans elegans, but I cannot find a picture with red on it on californiaherps.com. I'm pretty sure it's not a Sierra Gartersnake

Thanks for the help!

Jeremy

millmoss
Posts: 51
Joined: June 14th, 2012, 7:30 am

Re: Garter ID

Post by millmoss » June 1st, 2013, 6:48 pm

Shite. Nevermind. Thamnophis sirtalis fitchi.

User avatar
Brian Hubbs
Posts: 4733
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Location: "Buy My Books"-land

Re: Garter ID

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 1st, 2013, 7:30 pm

I didn't know they went that high...ya learn sumthin' new everday...

Robert Hansen
Posts: 172
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:35 pm

Re: Garter ID

Post by Robert Hansen » June 1st, 2013, 7:37 pm

Cool find. I'd love to know precisely where they found this snake. T. s. fitchi does indeed routinely occur at much higher elevations in the northern Sierra than is the case in the central and southern Sierra, for reasons that escape me. If you have the locality info and feel like sharing (beyond what you've posted), feel free to PM or email me ([email protected]). Thanks.

BH

User avatar
Jeff
Posts: 531
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 5:01 am
Location: Louisiana

Re: Garter ID

Post by Jeff » June 3rd, 2013, 4:58 pm

I would have considered high-elevation sirtalis either dubious or enigmatic had I not seen them for myself in the summit of eastern Amador County. There, they had only a few red scales above the lateral stripe, and only on the neck and thoracic area, not typical Valley Garters like that one. Those I saw were in a shallow meadow pond. The high Sierra populations may be old isolates. That is an interesting find.

Jeff

RobertH
Posts: 1834
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:38 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Garter ID

Post by RobertH » June 3rd, 2013, 6:02 pm

I found and vouchered a fitchi near Loon Lake im El Dorado County last summr at an elevation close to 6500 feet.

http://www.naherp.com/viewrecord.php?r_id=118006

At the time, I learned on this forum that the elevation records is apparently quite high, something like 9000 feet. How high is Donner Summit?

Robert

User avatar
Fieldnotes
Posts: 1471
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:12 pm
Location: Orange County, CA
Contact:

Re: Garter ID

Post by Fieldnotes » June 3rd, 2013, 7:28 pm

Chad Lane has found them in the Sierras as high as 8,000 ft. Be interesting to hear if this has ever been topped.

User avatar
Chad M. Lane
Posts: 568
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:40 pm
Location: Manteca, CA
Contact:

Re: Garter ID

Post by Chad M. Lane » June 4th, 2013, 12:41 am

Donner is around 7000'.

Jeff sounds like my fitchi at 7992' is the same meadow/pond in Amador County.



Cheers,
Chad

User avatar
Jeff
Posts: 531
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 5:01 am
Location: Louisiana

Re: Garter ID

Post by Jeff » June 4th, 2013, 1:29 pm

Jeff sounds like my fitchi at 7992' is the same meadow/pond in Amador County
Chad

I'd name the spot, but don't know if the moderators would react. I checked a topo map, and the pond was right off the road just before the spur at about 7850 feet. That was in 1969.

Jeff

User avatar
Chad M. Lane
Posts: 568
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:40 pm
Location: Manteca, CA
Contact:

Re: Garter ID

Post by Chad M. Lane » June 6th, 2013, 5:05 pm

It's the same spot.

I wonder if they reach higher in California than that pond, actually series of small ponds.



Cheers,
Chad

Post Reply