Mating ball of garter snakes caught on campus

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The dam that types Varsity Lake in the University of Colorado campus is solid, but still riddled with crevices that offer safe havens for western garter that is terrestrial, Thamnophis elegans. Wanting to witness the many fulminations of springtime, we examined the walls on hot times in April to look at very first plants associated with snakes basking under the sun. On April 15, five snakes had been basking towards the top of the wall surface, but more snakes were underneath the dam, when you look at the forests. We resolved to come back the following day with a camera.

As a lady emerges through the hibernaculum in springtime, this woman is mobbed by eager men that form a mating ball. Picture by Jeff Mitton.

The morning that is next a set was mating near the wall surface at the top of the dam, nevertheless they had been partially concealed by dandelion foliage and plants. But, the genuine action ended up being occurring under the dam into the forests, where a roiling, seething, slithering mass of snakes had created a mating ball. This tangle was at constant movement, once the men wrestled and maneuvered getting in to the mating place. The competition lasted 40 mins ahead of the snakes suddenly relaxed and dispersed.

Garter snakes invest winter months in brumation, the analog of mammalian hibernation for cold-blooded snakes, in public hibernacula in stones or below ground. In springtime, men leave the hibernaculum first, for this takes them times to be active and coordinated when preparing for mating. (more…)

Sarnali Bhowmick