Northern Ribbon Snake

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Although I have found the Eastern Ribbon Snake and Western Ribbon Snake in Illinois, it was not until this year that I found this species that lives in my home state of Ohio.

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The Northern Ribbon Snake is found along the edges of lakes, ponds, bogs, streams and marshes – especially where low vegetation occurs. It tends to prefer sites that get a fair amount of sunlight.

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This snake eats frogs, tadpoles, salamanders and small fish. Though it superficially looks like a garter snake with three yellow stripes on a dark background, it is thinner in build and more aquatic in its habitat preferences.

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Northern Ribbon Snakes give birth to 3 to 26 live young in late summer. The baby snakes are 7 to 9 inches long and are colored and patterned the same as the adults.

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This is an active fast-moving snake that when approached, will typically flee for shelter or into the water, relying on its speed and agility to avoid capture.

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It was an excellent experience to come across a few of these sharply marked serpents for the first time while herping in the Buckeye State.

Third Eye Herp

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