This little guy was encountered on May 17th at Shawnee State Forest near Portsmouth, Ohio. He is curled up on a Mayapple leaf.
Garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) are common to Indiana and can be found in a variety of habitats. They tend to prefer moist, grassy environments and are many times found near water. Garter snakes are interesting because they do not lay eggs like many other snakes. They are considered ovoviviparous, meaning to bear live young. Their young are incubated in their lower abdomen, about half way down the snake's body. Gestation is usually two to three months and most young are born in late July and October. Most litters range from ten to forty young and litter size depends on the size of the female, with larger females giving birth to larger litters. Baby garter snakes are independent and do not rely on the parent to find food.