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The San Francisco garter snake is a slender multi- colored subspecies of the common garter snake. San Francisco is a special species found in the northern part of San Mateo country.

Adult San Francisco garter snakes can grow to a total length of 18- 55 inches (46- 140cm). They have keeled dorsal scales of blue- green, bordered by stripes of black, red (sometimes orange), and blue- green. Their head is barely wider than the neck, and is red. Its eyes are large compared to other species of garter snakes, giving the snake good eyesight to be primarily active during the day.

San Francisco garter snakes are practically harmless to humans. Their bites are fatal to their prey, but only cause a mild irritation for humans. With toxic venom in their saliva, San Francisco garter snakes possess no fangs.

The preferred habitat of the San Francisco garter snake is a densely vegetated pond near an open hillside where it can sun, feed, and find cover in rodent burrows: however, markedly less suitable habitat can be successfully used.

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