Checkered Garter Snake
Size: Just under 4 ft. but most commonly around 2 ft.
Range in Texas: All but the Eastern portions of Texas
Comments: They are usually found near a water source but I have also found them in very arid locations. The largest that I have found was around 3.5 feet long. When encountered, they coil, swell up with air and try to look mean. Although I have had them bite, their main defense once picked up is to smear feces all over you and let me tell you, They stink!, and once you've been decorated, the smell stays for quite a while. This being said, I know allot of people that have kept them as pets. They calm down pretty well and eat the feeder gold fish that you can buy at any pet store. They also eat frogs and toads. Click on the thumbnail for a closer look.