The strand snake occasionally called ribbon snake (Thamnophis sauritus) is a species of snake widely dispersed in the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. These snakes are regarded as a member of the garter snake group belonging to the genus Thamnophis.
The ribbon snake is a semi-aquatic snake species also is quite often found in the borders of lakes, ponds, rivers, or streams. They occupy wet areas such as marshes, bogs, wet meadows, or prairies that are flooded.
Lots of ribbon snakes resemble their own near relatives, the more real garter snakes such as the eastern garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). But they may be distinguished since they are normally slender, have a tail, scales, also also have differences in the positioning of those stripes.
Their length varies among subspecies, whereas the smaller northern ribbon snake could reach between 16 and 26 inches in length that the eastern ribbon snake can be anywhere from 18 to 35 inches .
They use their pattern and coloration as a camouflage to avoid predators and find prey. So the better the mixes with the surrounding environment is the probability of survival of specimens.
That’s the reason why ribbon snake coloration varies between subspecies and geographically, as a result of extreme predator choice generating a vast range of color designs. The ribbon snake dorsal colors vary from tan an overall red brown, as well as black.
They have 3 distinctive stripes running through the whole length of the bodies, with a single based in the back and other both on either side of the body.The stripes also vary in color and may be yellow, green, brown, or even light blue in the bluestripe ribbon snake.
The bottom Is Usually coated in a lighter color Which Range from whitish, yellow, green however on occasion, it may be dark brown or even black. The ribbon spider has keeled scales and a single anal plate
Adult decoration snakes fall prey to a number of creatures such as weasels and other carnivorous mammals, big fish, raptors, and wading birds while younger bees are also eaten by smaller turtles, fish and even crayfish.
They are also consumed by other snakes including venomous cottonmouths or rattlesnakes and non-venomous species like the eastern hognose snake, racer snakes and milk bees like the eastern milksnake.
The ribbon snake is generally active daily but at the warmer months and especially in the southern portions of their range they might become nocturnal. Months normally from October to April, Whilst at the northern sections of range they will hibernate during the winter.
What do ribbon snakes eat?
Such as other garter snakesthey will eat only”cold-blooded” animals, and they search both on land and water. If necessary, when searching the ribbon snake stalks its prey and will chase it.
Ribbon snakes possess quite a diverse diet including frogs and tadpoles, worms, slugs, fish, newts and salamanders, spiders, caterpillars, and several other insects.
They sometimes even feed on carrion for example road-killed toads. Very ribbon snake females can eat their own offspring.
The breeding in ribbon snakes usually occurs when they emerge from hibernation in the spring, from April to May. But occasionally it will take place in the autumn, with the infants development as well as the reevaluate fertilization until the spring.
Like most garter snakes, ribbon snakes are ovoviviparous giving birth to live young. To the hatchlings in the fall or summer months, females give birth after a gestation period of approximately 3 months.
The clutch size varies from 3 to 5 toddlers, and they get no parental attention and will need to fend for themselves instantly. The younglings are about 7 to 9 inches (18 to 23 cm) long and their coloration is similar to that of the parents. The ribbon snakes reach sexual maturity after two or three years.
The ribbon snakes have been listed as Least Concern due to its broad distribution and presumed large population.
There are 4 recognized subspecies of ribbon snake.
Eastern ribbon snake (T. sauritus sauritus) – Its range extends from southern Maine and Ontario, Canada and throughout New York south to Florida, west to the Mississippi River. They’re absent from a lot of the Appalachian Mountains. This subspecies rear is brownish in color and sometimes known as the frequent ribbon snake.
Northern ribbon snake (T. sauritus septentrionalis) – They are found in northern New England throughout New York westward through Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario in Canada. An isolated population is also located Nova Scotia. They have a dark brown or blackish coloration in the back
Southern ribbon snake (T. sauritus sackeni) – Found from South Carolina south through Florida. This subspecies is known as the Peninsula decoration snake. It is usually while their stripe is somewhat less distinct than other subspecies has a brown or backsplash.
Bluestripe ribbon snake (T. sauritus nitae) – Located on the Gulf Coast of the north west and west central Florida in which they’re just one of many snake species found in Florida. These snakes have a back color with blue stripes that are lateral that are bright so their common name.
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