Snake ID, Michigan

chuckr30October 3, 2007

SW Michigan. This snake is calm and friendly, about 20 inches long. It has a rounded head and round pupils. It prefers to run away and not fight. Anyone know what it is? It just doesn't look like any picture of a garter snake I've seen. Found near a stream about 6 feet wide.

Juvenile queen snake maybe?

Here is a link that might be useful:

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Any chance of a top view? I've found garters seem to change color patterns from month to month. Butler's is in Michigan I think. Unless I'm way off, I'd narrow it to an Eastern or a Butler's, or Northern Ribbon, or one that just squeezed through a freshly painted red fence. ;)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 10:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have no other photos, just another blurry side view. Sorry.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 10:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is a ribbon snake with a red stripe, but it runs down the center of their back. I would do a search under "red sided garter snake". I think you'll find what you're looking for there. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 8:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Aha, I think I found it. I was thinking Red Sided but then thought they were only in CA. Then I happened upon (Thamnophis sirtalis concinnus) Red-spotted Garter snake. What do you think?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 10:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Red spots are too small on my snake to be a Red Spotted. However I did find a closer match with the Thamnophis sirtalis fitchi, aka "Valley Garter Snake" or "Western Yellow Bellied Racer". However the name suggests they are only in the western US.

See link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thamnophis sirtalis fitchi

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 8:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow, goregous colors near the belly!

It is an aberrant Eastern Garter Snake. The Eastern Garter Snake shows tremendous variation in pattern even within a single geographic region and the reddish coloring Eastern Garters while uncommon do seem to appear from time to time, especially in the western part of the Eastern Garter Snake's range (Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Western Kentucky, Arkansas etc.).

I've seen about three similar to the one above in Illinois (while I have seen many many more normal phased snakes).

Red-Sided, Valley, and some of the western forms of garter snakes that have red on them as a regular part of their pattern are in the same species as Eastern Garter Snakes but a different subspecies. Seems over time the west favored color morphs that had red on them and eventually that mutation which is still an aberration in eastern snakes became the norm.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 10:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think I found a match. This site has the only pictures of a garter snake which are not a clear black with yellow stripes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Common garter snake

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 11:35AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
What is this creature?
Can anybody identify this critter? It looks to me like...
Can you help name this bug?
I know this is name this animal but name this insect...
Help identify this snake
Hello! We recently found this snake underneath our...
Identify this young snake?
We found this baby (about 5 inches long) outside our...
What kind of owl is this?
I saw an owl in my backyard this morning and got really...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™