Skillelinie

Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis

(Red-sided garter snake)

Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis han
 
The red-sided or the red-barred garter snake is found from Chihuahua in Mexico to Yukon territory in Canada. It can be found from ground lewel to an elevation of 8000 feet. It prefers to live close to water like ponds streams or lakes but can occaisionally be found far away from any water. They prey on insects, spiders, worms, frogs, toads, fish and small rodents. Coloration is dark green, brown to black with a light dorsal stripe. On the sides there are large red spots. In the northern part of its distribution they hibernate for 3 - 5 months and copulation occurs both in Autum and in Spring. Juveniles are born in August or September. This is the only snake that has been recorded surviving freezing temperatures.
 
Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis female
 
The different subspecies of Thamnophis sirtalis has always been very popular animals for the beginner. Thousands has been imported to Europe every year and sold cheap in pet shops. They are very suitable for the beginner because they are dayactive and easy to keep and feed. Unfortunately the wild caught animals often suffers from various parasites and bacteria caused bye the conditions after capture where many animals are stored together in small boxes. Many animals dies and therefor captive bred animals are a better choice. The terrarium don`t need to be very large. They generally stays in the lower part of the terrarium even they examine plants and branches in their hunt for food. They should be kept dry with a moist area and a large waterbowl. Kept in a wet inviroment they soon suffer from skin problems. Keep them at about 25*C during the day and slightly cooler at night. A heating spot is necessary. They are fed on small freshwater fish, worms and small rodents, and will quickly adapt to their new inviroment and takes the food from your fingers. Food items must variate, and a soitary feeding on worms will kill the animals. Fish should be alive or freshly killed. Frozen fish lacks of B-vitamin which must be added, if this food is used. Juveniles accepts small fish or worms as food and gets mature in 1-2 years.
 
Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis baby