Common Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis Sauritus)
The Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis Sauritus) is a very slender non-venomous snake often confused with the Eastern Garter Snake also of genus Thamnophis. The Ribbon Snake has a long tail that makes up about one-third of its total length. Ribbon snakes are known to inhabit wetlands with plenty of marshy/swampy areas and grow to a size of three feet in length. This species has three distinct yellow lengthwise stripes on a rich brown background, one in the center and one on either side. A Ribbon snakes diet includes small aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates and they are a livebearing species giving birth to 10-12 6-9 inch young annually. While both Garter and Ribbon snakes are observed in the pet trade their semi-aquatic environment, aquatic diet, and reproduction habits make them better suited for an experienced keeper. Records of the Ribbon snake in West Virginia are sparse.