Eastern Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus) - Ohio Herp Atlas

Eastern Ribbonsnake Thamnophis sauritus

Ribbon and gartersnakes may easily be confused. The ribbonsnake has an exceptionally long tail that accounts for one-fourth to one-third of its total length. The gartersnakes have a relatively short tail, usually five inches or less. Unlike other members of the gartersnake group, ribbonsnakes prefer to feed upon aquatic creatures such as small fish, tadpoles, salamanders, small frogs, and toads. These semi-aquatic snakes seldom venture far from water. As a rule, they frequent the margins of small lakes, ponds, swamps, wet prairies and meadows, and occasionally moist woods throughout Ohio. The small, trim ribbonsnake is more at home on shore than in the water. When encountered it invariably retreats to the water. But, instead of diving to the bottom as a watersnake would, it swims rapidly along the shore and may disappear quickly into the vegetation. Ribbonsnakes are very high strung and, even after being in captivity for a long time, will dart about nervously at the slightest movement. LENGTH: 18”–24”

Text courtesy of the Ohio Division of Wildlife: https://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/portals/wildlife/pdfs/publications/id%20guides/pub354_Reptiles-opt.pdf

Distribution Map
Distribution of the Eastern Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus)
Eastern Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus)