Sony HX200V---This is a large female, that was on a closed road, picking up ants and other insects. The females are much larger and less numerous than the males. Her head is small, in relation to her thicker body. The yellowstripe color is typical of this species and there are several other gartersnake species in Oregon, some with red or white stripes and some that also have red or black spots.
They are ovoviviparous, giving birth to live young, from eggs that are retained and hatched inside the mother's body. I've seen videos showing dozens of males fighting and maneuvering, all trying to be the one to mate with a fertile female, that was several times larger than any of them.
The males eat more small insects than anything else, but the females may take bigger prey. I saw an even larger female once, that had three lumps in her body, that I think may have been mice. I once saw a small male catch a 4-inch long fish and carry it away, crossways in its jaws. I imagine that he intended to swallow it later, headfirst. There's a video of this, farther back in my album. vimeo.com/2026174 They sometimes constrict prey with their coils to kill it and they are mildly venomous, but not dangerous to people.
Notice how this snake moves slowly and carefully over the rough surface of the old blacktop, but speeds up a lot when she gets into the grass.
This camera is the v 1.01 firmware update version.
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