Data from 23 occurrences (22 museum vouchers).
- 12 museum vouchers > 30 yrs.
museum vouchers < 30 yrs.
19 unique localities.
Date Quartile Plot:
4 - AOR
3 - Active, off-road
Public Lands Records:
2 - Cimarron National Grassland
CHECKERED GARTERSNAKE Thamnophis marcianus,
(Baird & Girard, 1853)
Kansas State Threatened Species
The Checkered Garter Snake is found along the southern Kansas border west of the Chikaskia River, in the Permian Prairie and southern Cimarron Plains.
Smith (1946) considered KU 5434 (from Meade County) to be a natural hybrid of T. marcianus and T. radix. Herein, KU 5434, is used in the account of T. marcianus.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences)
Barber (6), Comanche (4), Harper (1), Meade (3), Morton (3), Seward (1), Sumner (3)
Growth and Longevity:
A male (KU 158493), Comanche County, total length 846 mm (33.75 inches), Stanley Roth, Joseph T. Collins, and Ray E. Ashton, 10 May 1975.
Not known from Kansas.
Perhaps the rarest snake in Kansas, this species is known only from a few widely spaced records along the Kansas/Oklahoma border from Sumner County west to Morton County.
Miller (1987) summarized our knowledge of this species in Kansas, and little information has been obtained since then. He was especially successful in discovering this species in southwest Barber and southwest Sumner counties; however, he has subsequently reported that they are encountered less frequently in these areas (Larry Miller, pers. comm. 2005). Ball (1992) reported observing 16 specimens in Morton County during the period 1985-1991. He considered them to be locally abundant; however, he collected no specimens and no specific localities were mentioned. The only existing records for Morton County are two specimens collected in 1926. The most recent verified records in the state are from southwestern Barber and southwestern Sumner counties. Additional work is needed to determine optimal searching techniques for this serpent in Kansas.
1937. Tihen, J. A.. Additional distributional records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas counties. Transactions Kansas Academy of Science. 40: pp. 401-409.
1946. Smith, Hobart M. Hybridization between two species of garter snakes. University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History. 1(4): pp. 97-100.
1987. Miller, Larry. An investigation of four rare snakes in south-central Kansas. Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission. Final Report: pp. 24.
1992. Ball, Robert L. High plains serpents: Results of a long-term study in Texas County, Oklahoma and Morton County, Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter. (88): pp. 16-17.