Santa Cruz Garter Snakes only live in California from the San Francisco Bay Area to Santa Barbara County. There are no native water snakes that live in the Golden State, so this reptile fills that ecological niche, eating fish and frogs and using waterways as an escape route – it dives well and can stay submerged for quite some time.
I became fascinated with this species after seeing the one-striped morph on the cover of a book. I have been breeding them for four years now, though I’ve never seen one give birth until today.
Babies are born in a clear membrane that they break out of. Birth occurs typically 90 to 100 days after mating. This species usually has about a dozen offspring.
Young Santa Cruz Garter Snakes are miniature replicas of their parents. Shortly after breaking through their membranes, they shed their skin.
These snakes are completely independent of their parents and ready to start hunting for food. I feed mine small fish that I catch in the creek in my backyard.