NORTHWESTERN GARTER SNAKE (Thamnophis ordinoides) - ©Red~Star
BRUMATION - Garter snakes go into brumation before they mate. They stop eating for about two weeks beforehand to clear their stomach of any food. Garter snakes begin mating as soon as they emerge from brumation.
During mating season, the males mate with several females. Female garter snakes produce a sex-specific pheromone that attracts male snakes in droves, sometimes leading to intense male-male competition and the formation of mating balls of up to 25 males per female.
After copulation, a female leaves the den/mating area to find food and a place to give birth. Female garter snakes are able to store the male’s sperm for years before fertilization.
The young are incubated in the lower abdomen, at about the midpoint of the length of the mother’s body. Garter snakes are ovoviviparous, meaning they give birth to live young. However, this is different than being truly viviparous, which is seen in mammals.
Gestation is two to three months in most species. As few as 3 or as many as 80 snakes are born in a single litter. The young are independent upon birth. On record, the greatest number of garter snakes to be born in a single litter is 98.
(Thamnophis ordinoides) (by Red~Star)
Other Photos you might enjoy:
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Threadsnake - world’s smallest snake
Flying Snake or Golden Tree Snake
Northwestern Garter Snake (Thamnophis ordinoides) (by Red~Star)