Western Terrestrial Garter Snake
Thamnophis elegans

Family Colubridae

Adults 24" to 42" in length. Color brown to gray; gray and light tan checkerboard pattern conspicuous in juveniles, darkens and becomes obscure with age. Light stripe down sides of body, becomes less prominent with age. Prominent light stripe down back on individuals from southeastern Colorado; stripe faint or absent elsewhere. Moderately slender body; keeled scales. Single anal plate.
Elevation Range:
Usually below 11,000', but has been found at 13,100' in San Miguel County, southwest Colorado.
Subspecies in Colorado:
Thamnophis elegans vagrans
  Western Terrestrial Garter Snake
Photo from Hammerson, 1986.
Used with permission.
CountyRef. CountyRef. CountyRef. CountyRef.
AdamsH DoloresH La PlataH PitkinH
AlamosaH DouglasH LakeH ProwersSM3
ArapahoeH EagleH LarimerH PuebloH
ArchuletaH El PasoH Las AnimasH Rio BlancoH
BacaH ElbertH Lincoln *  Rio GrandeH
BentH FremontH Logan  RouttH
BoulderH GarfieldH MesaH SaguacheH
ChaffeeH GilpinH MineralH San JuanH
Cheyenne  GrandH MoffatH San MiguelH
Clear CreekH GunnisonH MontezumaH Sedgwick 
ConejosH HinsdaleH MontroseH SummitH
CostillaH HuerfanoH Morgan *  TellerH
Crowley *  JacksonH OteroH Washington 
CusterH JeffersonH OurayH WeldH
DeltaH Kiowa *  ParkH Yuma 
DenverLJL8 Kit Carson  Phillips 
Map of Colorado
Color Key
Adams Alamosa Arahapoe Archuleta Baca Bent Boulder Chaffee Cheyenne Clear Creek Conejos Costilla Crowley Custer Delta Denver Dolores Douglas Eagle El Paso Elbert Fremont Garfield Gilpin Grand Gunnison Hinsdale Huerfano Jackson Jefferson Kiowa Kit Carson La Plata Lake Larimer Las Animas Lincoln Logan Mesa Mineral Moffat Montezuma Montrose Morgan Otero Ouray Park Phillips Pitkin Prowers Pueblo Rio Blanco Rio Grande Routt Saguache San Juan San Miguel Sedgewick Summit Teller Washington Weld Yuma