How big do garter snakes get?

Answered by Randy McIntyre

Adult eastern garter snakes can reach a length of 18 to 26 inches. These snakes have a slender and elongated body shape, allowing them to move swiftly and navigate through various environments. Their bodies are covered in keeled scales, which give them a ridged texture. This unique feature helps them to grip surfaces and aids in their movement.

When it comes to coloration and patterns, garter snakes exhibit quite a bit of variation. The dorsal (back) side of these snakes can be dark brown, green, or olive-colored. This coloration helps them blend in with their surroundings, providing them with some camouflage. Along the center of their back, there is a distinct yellow or white stripe that runs from the head to the tail. This stripe is often bordered by narrower stripes on either side, which can be black, brown, or greenish in color.

It is fascinating to observe the diversity in appearance among individual garter snakes. While some may have a more uniform coloration, others may exhibit darker spots or blotches along their backs. The belly of garter snakes tends to be lighter in color, ranging from white to yellowish. This contrast between the dorsal and ventral sides helps to further camouflage them from predators when viewed from below.

During my encounters with garter snakes, I’ve noticed that their size can vary slightly depending on factors such as age, sex, and geographical location. In general, however, the length range of 18 to 26 inches is a good estimate for adult eastern garter snakes. It’s important to note that garter snakes are not considered large snakes compared to some other species. Their smaller size makes them more manageable for those who may be apprehensive about encountering larger snakes.

Adult eastern garter snakes typically grow to be 18 to 26 inches long. Their bodies are covered in keeled scales, and they display a range of colors and patterns, with a distinct yellow or white stripe running down their back. These snakes are relatively small in size compared to other species and possess unique characteristics that allow them to thrive in their environments.