Butler's Garter Snake (Thamnophis butleri)

Description: A small black, brown, or olive snake with three distinct yellow stripes down the back and a yellowish belly. Some specimens have dark spots between the stripes. The dark head is very small. Adult length: 15 to 27 inches.

Butler's Garter Snake
Photo © Jim Harding

Habitat and Habits: Butler's Garter Snakes prefer moist meadows, marshes, and lake edges. They can be common in urban vacant lots where there are objects to hide under and lots of earthworms, a favorite food. When frightened, these snakes may wriggle rapidly back and forth with little forward motion.

Reproduction: Females produce litters of 4 to 19 snakes in mid summer.

Range and Status: This species is locally common in the eastern and southern Lower Peninsula.

Related Documents
Butler's Garter Snake Occurrences Map PDF icon