Thamnophis sauritus sackenii, 04 February 2018

Thamnophis sauritus sackenii, the Peninsula garter snake;
Volusia county, Florida (04 February 2018, Nikon D7100).

My first Ribbon snake, Thamnophis sauritus sackenii, of 2018 was found in the interior pinelands of Volusia county on 04 February 2018. The young snake was basking in the middle of a dirt road on a not-totally-freezing early afternoon. It was a pretty rough and tumble winter for the reptiles and amphibians of central Florida (and for myself). I think we’re all pretty happy its warming up now. As for Ribbon snakes, this is a fairly benign, non-venomous species rather common throughout the peninsula. For those trying to differentiate ribbons from garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis), look for the well-defined vertical white line in front of the eye. Ribbon snakes typically have a more-pronounced white line. With garters, if present at all, that line is usually pretty faded out and undefined.

 

Learn more about the ribbon snakes in Florida.

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