Common name: Ribbon Snake (Information in this Species Page was compiled by Jennifer Sensor in Biology 220M, Spring 2005, at Penn State New Kensington) The ribbon snake is a member of the garter snake group (the genus Thamnophis). Two stripes are located on the side of the body and one along the middorsal. Appearing west and east of the Allegheny Mountains, this colorful creature has not populated the mountains or plateaus themselves. Garter Snakes Ribbon snakes refers to a group of snakes in the genus Thamnophis, differentiated by the presence of longer tails and a light patch in front of the eye. A slender version of the eastern garter snake, the ribbon snake has three well defined light yellow stripes against a black or reddish brown background on its back. A dark brownish stripe may be present above the belly scales. The eastern ribbon snake is found in the balance of the range. The ribbon snake can be found within a split range in Pennsylvania. Physical Description Eastern ribbon snake The western ribbon snake is also known as the bluestripe ribbon snake, while the southern ribbon snake is also known as the peninsula ribbon snake. The Eastern Ribbon Snake has a distinct pattern on the body as well as the common stripes. The northern ribbon snake resides in the northwestern part of the state. Eastern Ribbon Snakes (Thamnophis sauritus) share those same physical features.
Also known as the Common Ribbon Snake, the eastern ribbon is another of the common snakes of Pennsylvania, earning its name for being a long and thin snake that looks a bit like a ribbon, especially with the vertical lighter stripes. Ribbon snakes can be distinguished from their close relatives the true garter snakes by their slender body shape, glossy scales, and relatively longer tails.
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