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A "Flame" Phase Coast Garter Snake

Posted: December 14th, 2013, 10:35 am
by tspuckler
Born here in the summertime and photographed today.

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Re: A "Flame" Phase Coast Garter Snake

Posted: December 14th, 2013, 11:14 am
by PNWHerper
Beautiful animal! And good job getting sharp photos of it.

Reminds me a great deal of northwestern gatersnakes I see east of the Seattle area.

Re: A "Flame" Phase Coast Garter Snake

Posted: December 14th, 2013, 9:48 pm
by VICtort
Nice photo of a handsome animal. Did the dam/sire look different, lacking red? I formerly lived in their range, and there are even redder ones out there. You forum Thamnophis enthusiasts are helping me better appreciate this Genus, I had not realized what a wealth of attractive and diverse Thamnophis surrounded the SF Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest.

Q: Do captive Thamnophis get calm enough to quit musking or is that something you just endure? I rarely pick them up, finding the odor repelling, I can only imagine what a big, thick alarmed Nerodia is like...

Vic

Re: A "Flame" Phase Coast Garter Snake

Posted: December 15th, 2013, 3:53 pm
by tspuckler
The offspring resemble the parents. Here is the dame (the sire looks the same).
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There is also a phase where red becomes the dominant color. Here is a photo of one of those, though they can get even more red than this.
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The Coast offspring that were born here this year do not bite or musk. They are very "squirmy" though when it comes to being handled.

Tim

Re: A "Flame" Phase Coast Garter Snake

Posted: December 15th, 2013, 7:57 pm
by VICtort
Any idea what results from breedings between the striped coast and the very reddish phase (2nd photo)? I recall finding them in same drainage, they are the same subspecies, Yes? I find garter snakes fascinating but confusing, it would be fun to go into the field with someone who knows them well.

Vic

Re: A "Flame" Phase Coast Garter Snake

Posted: December 16th, 2013, 9:29 am
by Jimi
I agree about the increasing appreciation for garters that this forum is bringing me. We get to see some really, really pretty animals here. The Bay Area is a real center of diversity, it's nice for the guys there to have something to lord over their SoCal brethren (who have the advantage in so many other "field herp departments").

As for this
I rarely pick them up, finding the odor repelling, I can only imagine what a big, thick alarmed Nerodia is like
A really burly watersnake (every now and then you see a fat female pushing 5' - wow!) is pretty imposing, actually. You grab that, you need to be ready to either "be the boss of them" or get your ass kicked. Either way you're not coming out smelling like roses. No way. Both ends just open up and flow. And besides its lunch, you get the teeth too.

That said, I used to keep them when I was a kid. They're pretty cool captives, they stop acting spastic after a while and display some neat behaviors. And they're perfect for big naturalistic terraria - water features, overhanging branches, epiphytes, all that. Of course, if you're going to all that trouble...garter snakes are sooooo much prettier! Ha ha...

Cheers,
Jimi

Re: A "Flame" Phase Coast Garter Snake

Posted: December 19th, 2013, 5:11 pm
by justinm
tspuckler wrote: Image

The Coast offspring that were born here this year do not bite or musk. They are very "squirmy" though when it comes to being handled.

Tim
There is a spot in Western Illinois that produces Eastern Garters that literally look just like this snake. I used to have one years ago, it was gorgeous.