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Garter Snake

Thamnophis sirtalis

Home > Snakes > Care Sheets

Garter snakes are found throughout North America in marshes, woodlands, meadows and in drainage ditches. Typically they have a black background with a few yellowish stripes on the back. When born in the wild they can be quite aggressive however with frequent handling the will calm down. Garter Snake Picture
Natural Location: North America
Average Lifespan: Up to 15 years
Estimated Size: 2' to 5'

Feeding & Water

Feeding is required once every 2 -3 weeks. A garter snakes diet consists mainly of feeder fish. Grass snakes will eat crickets as well.

A large bowl of water should be provided for drinking and swimming. The water must be chlorine free and changed daily to avoid debris in the water.


Temperature, Lighting & Humidity

Garter Snakes prefer a temperature gradient from 65 degrees F to 85 degrees F. A ceramic heater can be used as the primary heat source with an undertank heater providing the rest. Garter Snakes prefer a habitat with a relatively high humidity in comparison to other snakes.

8-12 hours of light per day is optimal for most snakes. This light should be provided at a constant time during the day.



Garter Snakes need a box that is big enough for them to hid in and branches or something else suitable for climbing. Garter Snakes are one of the more active snakes so keep this in mind when designing an enclosure.

These snakes prefer a deep substrate which must be dry at all times.

The habitat should be cleaned thoroughly once weekly. Bleach is acceptable to use for this cleaning however ensure that the habitat is entirely free of the bleach smell before putting your snake back in.



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