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Red Sided Garter Snake Pits in Manitoba

Discussion in 'Not So Spineless Wonders' started by GQ., May 23, 2004.

  1. GQ.

    GQ. Arachnodemon Old Timer

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    I had the good fortune to spend a couple of weeks in Winnipeg. Fortunately, I happened to be there during the time of the garter snake matings at the Narcisse Snake Pits which is a couple hours drive from the Peg. I have wanted to see the garter snake mating balls since seeing the photos in National Geographic as a kid. I was thwarted the week before by record May snowfalls in the area. Last week was much better and I made it out to the pits at about 8pm in the eveing. It was still fairly cold so the snakes were congregated in masses on the bottom of the pits. A few were out cruising around on the side of the pits. If I could have caught them during midday I might have been able to take more action photos. As it was the pictures of the pits did not come out so great. The snakes were too far away for my cheesy digital camera to capture. Here are a couple of pictures that didn't come out too bad. The first picture is of some snakes at snake pit number two.
    If you ever have a chance to see the pits, GO. It was cool as hell. I couldn't stop smiling the entire drive back to Winnipeg.
     

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  2. GQ.

    GQ. Arachnodemon Old Timer

    Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis, Red Sided Garter Snake

    This is a close up of a little guy that was on the trail that leads to the pits. He was making a beeline, err snakeline, for pit number two.
     

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  3. Deliverme314

    Deliverme314 Arachnoangel Old Timer

    MAN! That is so freaking neat! Can garters be kept communaly at home? Or just during these breeding times? I have been considering getting one for the hell of it.
     
  4. Immortal_sin

    Immortal_sin Arachnotemptress Old Timer

    that is so cool! We have TONS of these little guys in our backyard...but no mating pits LOL
    That would be a sight to see for sure. I love garter snakes :)
     
  5. GQ.

    GQ. Arachnodemon Old Timer

    Deliverme,

    Sorry for the late response, but I have been slightly preoccupied. I'm doubt you would want to keep a whole mess of garter snakes in a cage. Even keeping them in a large cage would probably not work out well. These snakes congregate in the spring as the emerge from their dens and also to mate. The snakes then disperse to the surrounding areas to feed and have babies. They don't congregate year round. The adults return in the fall to migrate in the limestone crevices in and around the snake pits. Juvenile snakes do not migrate to the area until their second year.
    A cage of maybe two garter snakes might be a good compromise if the cage is large and has plenty of hiding places. Cleanliness would be a must though. I'm not a huge fan of more than one snake per cage setups, but I can definitely see someone making it work nicely. Be sure to post some pictures if you try it out!

    Immortal,

    You don't have any mating pits? Bust out the shovel and start digging! Or you can try silk sheets. LOL. :)