The Checkered Garter Snake normally grows to 18-24 inches. It has keeled scales, a single anal scale, and narrow yellowish stripes down each side and the back. There is a large yellowish or cream colored crescent mark on each side of the head. The areas between
The stripes are brownish-yellow with a bold checkered pattern of dark spots. The belly is plain yellowish.
This rare snake is limited to the southern portions of those counties along the southern border of Kansas. It has not been recorded east of the Arkansas River. It frequents margins of pools of water in streams, small ponds and lakes, or near springs. During winter, this snake uses small animal burrows or deep crevices in rocky hillsides to avoid the cold.
Checkered Garter Snakes are protected by the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act and administrative regulations applicable thereto. Any time an eligible project is proposed that will impact the species' preferred habitats within its probable range, the project sponsor must contact the Ecological Services Section, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, 512 SE 25th Ave., Pratt, Kansas 67124-8174. Commission personnel can then advise the project sponsor on permit requirements.
As defined by the Kansas Administrative Regulations, critical habitats include those areas documented as currently supporting self-sustaining population(s) of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife as well as those areas determined by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to be essential for the conservation of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife.