Definition of garter snake in US English:

garter snake


  • 1A common, harmless North American snake that typically has well-defined longitudinal stripes and favors damp habitats. It is occasionally kept as a pet.

    Genus Thamnophis, family Colubridae: several species, in particular T. sirtalis

    • ‘The eastern garter snake and fox snake will eat nest contents opportunistically, but eggs and nestlings are not major food items in their diets.’
    • ‘For example, ‘with a single flick of his tongue, a male garter snake can not only tell the species of another snake, but also its sex, its body size, its body condition, and whether or not it has mated recently,’ he said.’
    • ‘Perhaps it was a transitory phase that most - or perhaps all - male garter snakes passed through soon after they emerged from the den.’
    • ‘That doesn't necessarily mean an ambitious backpack through alpine meadows or watching a mighty whale breaching at sea; it can be as simple as observing a garter snake in the grass or the flight of a butterfly.’
    • ‘One day later, that juvenile and its working transmitter were recovered from a regurgitation sample of an eastern garter snake as part of a simultaneous study on grassland snake diet.’
    • ‘‘Not too many people,’ he writes, ‘can say they met their spouse in a snake pit with 25,000 mating garter snakes swarming around their feet.’’
    • ‘She'd had run-ins with snakes before, but a garter snake isn't much more troublesome than a lizard when it comes down to a pitched battle.’
    • ‘The giant garter snake, a non-venomous species listed as threatened, has been studied on Colusa National Wildlife Refuge in California since 1996.’
    • ‘I looked down and I had stepped on a garter snake nest.’
    • ‘Now the Pacific Coast aquatic garter snake has also been found to be a lingual lurer.’
    • ‘Instead, we show how information on performance traits at the phenotypic interface can be brought to bear on the methodology by describing the phenotypic interface of an interaction between toxic newts and their garter snake predators.’
    • ‘Other snake species, such as the Butler's garter snake, often gather in numbers.’
    • ‘Garter snakes may be the most common snakes in North America, but the subspecies known as the red-sided garter snake provides an uncommon annual spectacle.’
    • ‘We were out on the lawn one day and a garter snake wiggled past.’
    • ‘Field studies at large communal dens of garter snakes challenged the view of snake reproduction as an essentially cooperative interaction between the sexes.’
    • ‘When hiking in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, you do need to take care where you put your feet and hands - it's home to the prairie rattler as well as the bull snake, wandering garter snake and plains garter snake.’
    • ‘At risk are well-known species such as the Florida panther, black-tailed prairie dog and Pacific salmon, as well as numerous less appreciated species such as the giant garter snake and the southwestern Arroyo toad.’
    • ‘On wildlife refuges in Arizona where Schwalbe studies the amphibian, bullfrogs have nearly eliminated the Mexican garter snake and the Chiricahua leopard frog.’
    • ‘In Arizona these frogs are causing the decline of native aquatic species like the Mexican garter snake and the Chiricahua leopard frog.’
    • ‘The approach is illustrated with data from a predator-prey arms race between garter snakes and newts that operates through the interface of tetrodotoxin and resistance to it.’
  • 2A venomous burrowing African snake that is typically dark with lighter bands.

    Genus Elapsoidea, family Elapidae: several species

    • ‘This is the black garter snake, not to be confused with American garters.’


garter snake

/ˈɡärdər snāk//ˈɡɑrdər sneɪk/