Busting the Myth: Garter Snakes Are Actually Poisonous - Snake

Busting the Myth: Garter Snakes Are Actually Poisonous


There is a common misconception in the world that garter snakes are poisonous. This myth has been passed down from generation to generation, and even some people who consider themselves experts on snakes believe it. However, it is actually a myth. Garter snakes are not poisonous.

Garter snakes are a common species found throughout many parts of North America. They are small, non-venomous snakes that are often kept as pets or studied in biology classes. Garter snakes are generally harmless to humans and are considered beneficial because they eat insects and rodents.

The myth that garter snakes are poisonous likely stems from confusion with another species of snake, the coral snake. Coral snakes are venomous and have a similar appearance to garter snakes. However, there is a simple way to distinguish between the two types of snakes. Coral snakes have red, yellow, and black bands. The famous rhyme “Red touches yellow, kills a fellow. Red touches black, friend of Jack,” can be used to easily identify coral snakes.

Garter snakes, on the other hand, have a complex pattern of stripes and do not have any red or yellow bands. They are sometimes mistaken for other non-venomous species, such as the Eastern milk snake or the Kenyan sand boa. However, with a little bit of knowledge and careful observation, it is easy to tell garter snakes apart from other species.

It is important to dispel the myth that garter snakes are poisonous. This false belief has led to unnecessary fear and hatred towards these harmless reptiles. In fact, garter snakes are often kept as pets and are considered one of the best snake species for beginners because of their docile nature and easy care requirements.

In conclusion, garter snakes are not poisonous. They may look similar to venomous species such as the coral snake, but with a little bit of knowledge, it is easy to tell them apart. It is important to dispel this myth and recognize garter snakes for the beneficial, harmless creatures that they are.

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