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When I had first had had the idea to write a short article about keeping ribbon snakes in captivity, my plan was to explain why ribbon snakes were a poor “beginner” snake in spite of their low price at pet stores 👍 I’m would having based that argument on the herpetocultural literature on ribbon snakes and on our own experience with our single Western Ribbon Snake, which to date has made for a less than satisfactory captive 🔥 But things have gotten a bit more complicated since then, and now I’m left with more questions about ribbon snakes than answers 😁 Which is probably a good thing.
Description: Ribbon Snakes are slim snakes measuring 16-28 inches. (41-71 cm) long. Three light stripes, often yellow, are visible against a dark background. They have three light, usually yellow stripes against a dark background. yellow lateral stripes There is also a brown lateral stripes on the belly. The ribbon snakes look similar to the eastern garter snake Thamnophis sirtalis, but they have a more slimmer body and unpatterned lips. In garter snakes the lateral stripes can be found on scale rows 2, 3, and 4. The snakes have plain yellowish bodies and keeled scaling. T. Sauritus can be divided into four species, two of which are found in Georgia. South Carolina: Thamnophis sauritus sauritus sauritus sackenii and Thamnophis sauritus sackenii are less distinct. Shaquela Fairchild amended the above on June 6, 2021
Researchers at virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com Provide further details. Systematics. Carolus Linnaeus first described the snake Coluber saurita, in 1766. This was based upon a specimen that Alexander Garden sent him from “Carolina”. Schmidt and Conant (1956), limited the type area to Berkeley County, South Carolina. Fitzinger (1843), first used Thamnophis to describe this species. Cope (1875-1900) followed Baird (1853), and used Eutaenia saurita in early Virginia literature. However, most Virginia authors used this combination. The Thamnophis Sirtalis account contains additional comments about the history of this generic name. There are four subspecies recognized as sauritis: T. S. Nitae Rossman (Kennicott), T. S. Sackenii(Kennicott), T. S. Sauritus, Linnaeus and T. S. Septentrionalis Rossman. The distributions of the forms are illustrated in Rossman’s 1970 and Conant & Collins (1991). Kraus and Cameron, 2016 Herpetol. Rev. 47: 74–75) corrected the spelling to saurita. Virginia only has the nominate species. Kaytie Bennet from Kottayam in India, for her kind words.
The researchers at dept.psu.edu; appearanceThere are four types of ribbon snakes: The eastern ribbon snake, T. Sauritus sauritus and T. Sauritus Septentrionalis. There is also a blue striped ribbon snake T. Sauritus nitae and a peninsula ribbon snake T. Sauritus sackenii. All of these snakes appear reddish-brown, tan or black, with three distinctive stripes running along their lengths. The stripes can be green, yellow, brown or (in T.sauritus nutae) even light blue. The colour of their bellies is most commonly lighter (bright yellow, off white, yellow or green), but they can also turn dark brown or black. The variability in coloration is common among snake species. The wide array of colors is possible due to habitat adaptations as well as intense selection, primarily by predators. Both the eastern and northern ribbon snakes are approximately 18 to 34 inches long. The latter is 16 to 26 inches shorter. Males are generally longer than females and thicker. Ribbon snakes have a very long tail, which is approximately 1/3 the length of their total body. As mentioned, a ribbon snake’s tail is longer than the “true” garter snakes.