|Santa Cruz gartersnake cruising over yellow starthistle seedling.|
This subspecies has a whitish to lemon-yellow throat.
Draped over a yellow starthistle seedling, I saw the first snake of the year - a Santa Cruz aquatic garter snake. Sunning on the new section of the White Oaks Trail, this was probably a young-of-the-year snake only 8" long and 1/4" wide. Aquatic garter snakes are born in late August to mid-October.
|Newt crawling back into the earth for the dry season.|
|Western fence lizard not moving very fast yet.|
|The Santa Cruz gartersnake subspecies has a dark iris.|
The aquatic gartersnake species to which it belongs usually has
8 upper labial scales (scales above the lip),
with the 7th longer than the 6th (counting from the front) .
|This coast gartersnake was the first snake I saw on the Dipper Ranch in 2010.|
|Santa Cruz gartersnakes are black with a yellow dorsal stripe.|
Santa Cruz garter snake, Thamnophis atratus atratus
alligator lizard, Elgaria sp.
western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis
western skink - Plestiodon skiltonianus
yellow bellied racer, Coluber constrictor
northern Pacific rattlesnake, Crotalus oreganus oreganus
Robert C. Stebbins, Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition, 2003.