Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by Unknown Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The terrestrial gartersnake, Thamnophis elegans, is common throughout much of the western United States, southwestern Canada, and northern Mexico. The species can be found throughout Utah, where it is very abundant. The only race, or subspecies, of the terrestrial gartersnake that occurs in Utah is the wandering gartersnake, Thamnophis elegans vagrans.

The terrestrial gartersnake eats chiefly worms, snails, amphibians, fishes, and small rodents. Insects, lizards, small snakes, and small birds are also occasionally consumed. The species mates in the spring, and females give birth to between four and twenty live young in mid- to late summer. The terrestrial gartersnake can be found in many types of habitat, and some individuals are even aquatic. The species becomes inactive during cold times of the year.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 336 pp.