Saw this Garter snake today....King and Gopher yesterday.

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ilikesnakes
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Saw this Garter snake today....King and Gopher yesterday.

Post by ilikesnakes » April 4th, 2018, 7:22 pm

More rain on the way....1-3 inches possible YAY!
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Porter
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Re: Saw this Garter snake today....King and Gopher yesterda

Post by Porter » April 10th, 2018, 3:49 pm

That's a gigas :thumb: nice find man. Looks like a big one too. How long would you say it is by estimate. They are a hands-off species by the way in case you didn't know that. They're protected.

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ilikesnakes
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Re: Saw this Garter snake today....King and Gopher yesterda

Post by ilikesnakes » April 13th, 2018, 8:43 pm

About 3& half to 4 foot long. I think this is the 3rd time i have seen him
he lives in a hole or den....it is coming out of it in pic.
It never moved once..just its head a little..I left it just how i found it. there are more smaller ones i have seen in the same area in the past.

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RenoBart
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Re: Saw this Garter snake today....King and Gopher yesterda

Post by RenoBart » April 16th, 2018, 8:44 am

Giant garters are pretty difficult to find these days, correct? Or are they still somewhat common in certain areas?

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Porter
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Re: Saw this Garter snake today....King and Gopher yesterda

Post by Porter » April 16th, 2018, 12:35 pm

ilikesnakes wrote:About 3& half to 4 foot long. I think this is the 3rd time i have seen him
he lives in a hole or den....it is coming out of it in pic.
It never moved once..just its head a little..I left it just how i found it. there are more smaller ones i have seen in the same area in the past.
Cool stuff :thumb: yeah it seems to me like the gigas will actually den up together in a place where they have a series of connecting holes. They usually pick a basking site that they return to each day before hunting and then return back to the same hole they emerge from in the evening. I think the smaller ones are probably young that were birthed out by a female residing within the den or possibly just found it on their own as a comfortable and safe place. They don't seem to be territorial at all and I've seen them laying together within the hole systems.

Here's a shot of two large gigas with their heads pointing out of a hole after retreating from my presence. They both came back to observe me from a safe distance. It's hard to see because I haven't lighting the shadows in the photo but there are two noses facing outward....

ImageGiant Gartersnake home by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr


RenoBart wrote:Giant garters are pretty difficult to find these days, correct? Or are they still somewhat common in certain areas?
They're difficult but in the right spot they're common... It's a hard thing to really explain or even know. All the good gigas habitat is protected. So you have to go to the outskirts of that protected Habitat to actually see one. But you get the rare occasional sighting along the river and whatnot. Because they're an aquatic snake, I think the best way to actually see them would be to float a raft down the canals that run through their habitat. I still haven't done it but I've been thinking about it for a while now, mainly to try to get footage of yellow-bellied racers hunting on the floating aquatic plants near the shore. My lifeer YBR was found out over about 4 feet of water and 8 to 10 ft away from the shore. Probably hunting frogs but who knows maybe tadpoles and fish as well. I netted it with a fishnet as I was wading waist-deep to chest deep in an Elk Grove canal with a childhood buddy. I think if you floated a raft down the same type of canal you'd probably see several giant garter snakes throughout the day hunting and swimming across and probably a lot larger than what you see on the outskirts of protected habitat. But for the most part they're way off in the middle of croplands and Fields where you normally wouldn't see them so it's hard to say exactly how many individuals are out in that stuff... At the spots where I observe them I only see a few individuals, but that doesn't mean that there is a lot more behind the fences. It's really hard to say because it doesn't look like there's good den sites behind those fences and they do seem to like levees for dens.

I want to say they're more common than black belly kingsnakes for example. Reason being they're protected. I see gigas pretty regularly where I go herping but I've only found one aberrant blackbelly kingsnake that had a full black belly. And when I say black belly I mean full black belly aberrant morphs, not the toasted Brown top with slightly more melanistic belly blotching and checkers. The thing with the king snakes is theyre a money maker snake. So you get people from the surrounding cities and even out of state going right to this perfect spot for them as soon as the weather gets right and if they find one, they're going to keep it. So year by year, any full blackbelly kingsnake found gets taken away and doesn't get to reproduce... So now it's very hard to find them and one day you won't be able to find any. If I could, I would make those aberrant blackbelly kingsnakes a protected species ( like the San Francisco striped infernalis) I feel they are far more rare than the giant garter snakes. I consider myself a pretty good field herper and I've had way more success with even striped gopher snakes as opposed to those black bellies. I've even found more speckled king snakes than the black bellies as well. I felt very strongly about it for years and have been focusing on herping areas outside of the known aberrant blackbelly spot to see if there are any out there and I've still found none...

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RenoBart
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Re: Saw this Garter snake today....King and Gopher yesterda

Post by RenoBart » April 16th, 2018, 2:17 pm

Well, that's good they are still holding strong in protected areas...

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Porter
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Re: Saw this Garter snake today....King and Gopher yesterda

Post by Porter » April 16th, 2018, 11:17 pm

RenoBart wrote:Well, that's good they are still holding strong in protected areas...
Yeah...hopefully! Chad Lane told me he either read or heard about some kind of fungal disease that was affecting the gigas during the drought. Mentioned it when we were brainstorming on how to save a melanistic gartersnake I found that was badly dehydrated and/or had fungal disease. Similar to the waterfowl thing, I think...
I'm not sure but I think the habitat where the bulk of guy gets her supposed to be thriving was the same place the waterfowl were getting sick and dying. It was because of stuff deep down in the mud being exposed the normally wouldn't get on the animals.

As for the croplands...along with all the other species, they have it pretty rough: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] ... 184195869/

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RenoBart
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Re: Saw this Garter snake today....King and Gopher yesterda

Post by RenoBart » April 17th, 2018, 7:24 am

Thanks for the info. Sadly, most wildlife has it pretty rough these days. Reno is growing fast and I am seeing more habitat degradation first hand. I don't think it will ever stop! :(

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ilikesnakes
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Re: Saw this Garter snake today....King and Gopher yesterda

Post by ilikesnakes » April 22nd, 2018, 6:45 pm

Is this a red sided gartersnake.....or was this a red sided gartersnake i mean?
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Porter
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Re: Saw this Garter snake today....King and Gopher yesterda

Post by Porter » April 26th, 2018, 2:01 pm

Hey man, I finally returned your pm. Heads up :thumb:

They turn blue after they die..lol I did a post about this and I tried searching for that post so I could link it here but my attempts were failed. I was actually searching for a blue fitchi in Sutter when Brian Hubbs set me straight. For some reason they turn blue after death. I tested it after seeing a normal looking DOR and sure enough it was blue a couple days later.

Having said that, it's not entirely impossible to find a living blue fitchi in Sutter... those have been found elsewhere. And a melanistic valley garter was photographed with a blue belly and Vivid red siding in the same delta area.

My ultimate Sasquatch find will be a blue ficci that resembles the San Francisco garter snake. In fact I wanted to find that before getting my San Francisco garter snake lifer but I went ahead and did that a couple years back (thanks Luke Talltree). I found ficci that have striping on the neck in Sutter. So it is possible...


http://www.californiaherps.com/snakes/i ... yb6172.jpg

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] ... 184195869/

mark buck
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Re: Saw this Garter snake today....King and Gopher yesterda

Post by mark buck » April 29th, 2018, 11:44 pm

Nice finds!

Keep it up

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