Plains Gartersnake Thamnophis radix

Non-venomous

Description: 15 - 28 inches. Plains gartersnakes are black or brown, with a yellow or orange colored stripe down the center of the back, as well as one down each side on the third and fourth rows of scales. The stripes on the sides are usually easy to distinguish from the color of the belly. The area between the stripes may be mostly black, or checkered with brown, red, yellow, or greenish colors. The lips have a series of vertical black bars along them, and the belly is cream or gray with rows of dark blotches down the side.

Similar Species: Common Garter Snakes are similar in appearance, but the stripes on the sides are on the second and third scale rows, and may be hard to distinguish from the color of the belly.

Comments: Most frequently encountered gartersnake in North Dakota. May be found state wide.

Distribution Map
Distribution map of Plains Gartersnake (Thamnophis radix)

County level distribution of this species in North Dakota. Map generated from data collected from voucher specimens and photographic records.

Photographs