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5 Types of Snakes with Yellow Stripes

In the wild, snakes can be hard to identify, especially since they are often fast and elusive. Luckily, we’re going to help you tell what type of snake you are looking at.

One way to do this is by looking at the pattern on its back or along its sides. There are many different types of stripes that snakes have but one of them stands out from all others: yellow stripes!

Collage photo snakes with yellow stripes

 5 Types of Snakes with Yellow Stripes

If you spot a snake that has yellow stripes on its back or sides, it may very well be on the following list. Let’s have a look!

1. Garter Snakes

Common garter snake
Common garter snake | image by Greg Schechter via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

Garter snakes are a common type of snake seen in backyards. They are found in North America, Europe, and Asia.

These snakes have brown or black bodies with yellow stripes that extend from the head to the tail end. The pattern on their skin resembles the garters that men once wore—hence the name “garter snake.”

Garter snakes are small reptiles that can reach up to 26 inches in length when fully grown. Juveniles have prominent yellow stripes but will darken as they grow older.

There are 35 species of garter snakes throughout North America and most are very common. Most of these species have distinctive markings on their backs that look like striped belts.

2. Ribbon snakes

Eastern ribbon snake
Eastern ribbon snake | image by John J. Mosesso via Wikimedia Commons

Ribbon snakes are a type of garter snake, and they have yellow stripes like the more common eastern garter snake. The ribbon snake is also not venomous.

Unlike the easter garter snake, ribbon snakes aren’t as thick or heavy; their bodies can be as long as 20 inches (in some cases even longer).

Ribbon snakes don’t live very long compared to some other species—only 10 years on average—and their young are born in August or September.

3. Salt marsh snakes

Salt marsh snake slithering
Salt marsh snake slithering | image by Ashley Wahlberg (Tubbs) via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

The Salt marsh snakes are non-venomous and are found in the Atlantic coastal plains of the United States and Canada. They are between 2 and 3 feet long, with a coloration pattern of black and white stripes (sometimes yellow) on their backs that can be either solid or broken into blocks.

Despite what you might think from their name, salt marsh snakes do not exclusively live near salt marshes. They can be found in wetlands, ditches, grasslands, swamps, or other areas with soft soil where they can dig burrows to stay warm during winter months when temperatures drop below freezing point (32°F).

These snakes are harmless to humans—you don’t need to worry too much about being bitten by one! But if you do happen upon one, leave it alone so that it can continue enjoying its life in peace.

4. Striped racers

Striped racer
Striped racer | image by California Department of Fish and Wildlife via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The Striped racers are a group of small, fast snakes that are endemic to areas of California. They have yellow stripes down their backs and sides.

They also have bright red bellies and tails (though they don’t always have a red tail—the color varies). The striped racer grows to be about 3-5 feet long.

Before they were called striped racers, these snakes were known as “California whipsnakes.”

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5. Patch-nosed snakes

Western patch-nosed snake
Western patch-nosed snake | image by ALAN SCHMIERER via Flickr

The patch-nosed snake is a small, slender and fast species of snake that can be found in southern California. It is not venomous or dangerous, but it still has sharp teeth and will bite if provoked.

They grow to 3 feet as adults and have pale gray skin with a broad yellow or tan stripe down the middle of the back.


There are many different types of snakes that come in many different color patterns. We hope this article has helped you learn about the different types of snakes with yellow stripes.