Garter snake mating in early spring

The Eastern garter snake, Thamnophilis sirtalis sirtalis, is one of two commonly encountered snakes in the Arb, along with the Redbelly snake (Storeria occipitomaculata). They are called garter snakes because of the patterning on their sides, which resembles the patterning of garters once worn to hold up socks.

These garter snakes were mating outside their hibernaculum on April 14, 2006. There are probably hundreds of snakes that spent the winter at this location. The snakes will disperse in early summer, and give birth to live young later in the summer.