Two-striped garter snake

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Two-striped garter snake
Thamnophis hammondii 02.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Thamnophis
T. hammondii
Binomial name
Thamnophis hammondii
(Kennicott, 1860)
  • Eutaenia hammondii
    Kennicott, 1860
  • Tropidonotus digueti
    Mocquard, 1899
  • Thamnophis hammondii
    Stebbins, 1985
Two-striped garter snake in Riverside County, California

The two-striped garter snake (Thamnophis hammondii ) is a species of aquatic garter snake, which is endemic to western North America.

Taxonomy and etymology[edit]

The specific name, hammondii, is in honor of William A. Hammond, the U.S. Army surgeon who collected the first specimens.[3][4]


T. hammondii is a medium-sized snake, 18-30 inches in total length (including tail), with a head barely wider than the neck. Two common color variations occur in the wild, a striped variant and a checkered variant. The striped variant has a yellowish lateral stripe on each side, and a fairly uniform dorsal coloring. The checkered variant lacks the lateral stripes and has two rows of small dark spots on each side.[5]

Geographic range, habitat, and diet[edit]

The two-striped garter snake is found in western North America, ranging from central California to Baja California, Mexico. It is a highly aquatic species, and prefers habitat adjacent to permanent or semi-permanent bodies of water. This species feeds primarily on fish and amphibians.[6]


  1. ^ Frost DR, Hammerson GA, Hollingsworth B (2007). "Thamnophis hammondii ". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2007: e.T21707A9311793. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2007.RLTS.T21707A9311793.en. Retrieved 27 December 2017.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "Thamnophis hammondii ". The Reptile Database.
  3. ^ Hume, Edgar Erskine (1942). "Hammond and Xantus de Vesey were not the only 'surgeons-ornithologists'". Ornithologists of the United States Army Medical Corps: Thirty-six biographies. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 583 pp. ISBN 978-0405107290.
  4. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Thamnophis hammondi, p. 115).
  5. ^ "Two-striped Gartersnake - Thamnophis hammondii ". Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  6. ^ Kucera T (2000). "Thamnophis hammondii ". California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Retrieved 24 August 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Boulenger GA (1893). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume I., Containing the Families ... Colubridæ Aglyphæ, part. London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiii + 448 pp. + Plates I-XXVIII. (Tropidonotus ordinatus Var. hammondi, p. 210).
  • Kennicott R (1860). "Descriptions of New Species of North American Serpents in the Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington". Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 12: 328-338. (Eutænia hammondii, new species, p. 332).
  • Schmidt KP, Davis DD (1941). Field Book of Snakes of the United States and Canada. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. 365 pp. (Thamnophis hammondii, p. 249 + Plate 28).
  • Smith HM, Brodie ED Jr (1982). Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. New York: Golden Press. 240 pp. ISBN 0-307-13666-3 (paperback), ISBN 0-307-47009-1 (hardcover). (Thamnophis couchi hammondi, p. 150).
  • Stebbins RC (2003). A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition. The Peterson Field Guide Series ®. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. xiii + 533 pp. ISBN 978-0-395-98272-3. (Thamnophis hammondii, pp. 385–386 + Figure 27 on p. 383 + Plate 49 + Map 167).
  • Stejneger L, Barbour T (1917). A Check List of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 125 pp. (Thamnophis hammondi, p. 101).
  • Wright AH, Wright AA (1957). Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. Ithaca and London: Comstock Publishing Associates, a division of Cornell University Press. 1,105 pp. (in two volumes). (Thamnophis elegans hammondi, pp. 788–791, Figure 226 + Map 58 on p. 763).