Northern Ribbon Snake
Scientific Name: Thamnophis saurita septentrionalis
Status: Special Concern (Great Lakes population) and Threatened (Atlantic population)
Habitat: Wetlands, shorelines, and upland forest areas near wetlands
Threats: Habitat Loss, Road Mortality, predation by domestic animals.
Photographed: June 2023, Ontario
Story: Adam again teamed up with his friend Terry Chandler to search for northern ribbon snakes in a forest outside Paris, ON in June 2023. The forest is a good mix of rich wetlands with northern water snakes, turtles, and amphibians, as well as wooded hills and ravines. This increasingly threatened wild landscape in southern Ontario provides ideal habitat for northern ribbon snakes. It wasn't long hiking in the forest before they spotted movement among the leafy undergrowth: a northern ribbon snake! Over the course of their hike, Adam and Terry spotted several northern ribbons, as well as several eastern garter snakes that at first glance can be mistaken for ribbon snakes.
Northern ribbon snakes can be found in forested wetlands in southern Ontario and into a small portion of southwestern Quebec. A small wild population of eastern ribbon snakes are also still found in Nova Scotia.
Did you know?
Northern Ribbon snakes are one of four subspecies of the eastern ribbon snake, and are the only ones that range as far north as Canada.
They primarily eat amphibians.
They closely resemble the common gartersnake and can be difficult to tell apart in the field.