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Natural History

Natural History of Garter & Ribbon Snakes

Garter snakes and ribbon snakes are very popular pets, in the United States and throughout the world. Naturally, they are found throughout North America and south to Honduras in Central America. They exist comfortably in all different habitats, including forests, fields, and swamps.

Garter snakes and ribbon snakes are nonvenemous and bear live young, as opposed to laying eggs like most other snakes. They belong to the family Colubridae, the largest family of snakes in the world. They are small snakes that seem to enjoy being held, making them especially good pets for children.

Garter and ribbon snakes have fairly short lifespans. The oldest garter snake on record was 16 years old, but these snakes generally live a maximum of 10 years. It is rare for ribbon snakes to live more than 5 or 6 years.

For more information, read Quick & Easy Garter & Ribbon Snake Care (T.F.H. Publications, Inc.).


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