Thamnophis couchii — Sierra Gartersnake
Some other names for this species:
Sierra Garter Snake
I came across this large and old gartersnake basking on the edge of a path in the campground where my wife and I stayed. A pronounced scar on the neck showed that it had survived at least one brush with death in its day. It was still capable of a quick slither when it decided that it had had enough of me though.
My friend Fred Harer noticed this baby snake at the edge of the stream we were just about to cross in order to seek out the plentiful lizards on boulders on the far shore. This was only the second Sierra Gartersnake I'd seen, so at this point I had seen one venerable senior citizen and one little baby.
My third Sierra Gartersnake, also found by Fred Harer, was a medium-sized adult. So this is a Goldilocks and the Three Bears kind of story.
- Bartlett, R. D., Tennant, A. 2000. Snakes of North America, Western Region
- Behler, J. L., King, F. W. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians
- Brown, P. R. 1997. A Field Guide to Snakes of California
- Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2017. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, Eighth Edition
- Shedd, J. D. 2005. Amphibians and Reptiles of Bidwell Park
- Smith, H. M., Brodie, E. D. Jr. 1982. Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification
- Stebbins, R. C. 2003. Peterson Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition