Garter Snake Morph

by Jeff Benfer
Garter snake breeder, specializing in various garter snake morphs
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Welcome to my website!
Garter Snake Morph by Jeff Benfer
Garter snake breeder, specializing in various garter snake morphs!
It's an exciting time of the year lots of babies up for sale
First 10 litters of 2013 born , click Birthing Records to view results
Check out the article I wrote for the BLBC Newletter titled "Piebald Eastern Garter Snake", click on link: October BLBC Newsletter
New Acquisitions page with F1 potiential het piebalds!!!
I was a featured guest on Reptile Radio with hosts Larry and BT!!! if you missed it, click on the link here: Reptile Radio , then go to Archives 2010 to the show that originally aired on August 22, 2010 entitled: "Garter Snakes with Jeff Benfer" where you can download or play the entire show. It was an honor to be on the show and I have met a lot of nice people as a result.
Erthristic peach flame albino eastern female- was produced in 2012, and is also possible het for snow, melanistic, and blue grass albino. She is getting better color with every shed.
Wild caught piebald female eastern found 2011, aquired a group of the potiential F1 hets, see New Acquisitions page for more info and pics.
The world's first
Snow Red-Sided Garter produced 
Produced on 4/14/09 see birthing records page. Ended up with a male/female pair.
Carteret Co. erythristic albino- this is the first year these were produced (2009) 
This is a combination morph of Albino and the Erythristic gene, the red-orange color will continue to intensify into adulthood.
Allow me to introduce myself, I have been keeping reptiles for over 40 years. When I was a kid I had garter snakes, turtles, and a caiman.
I have also bred many types of tropical fish and other snake species, box turtles and aquatic turtles. By day I am a supervisor of a clinical molecular diagnostic laboratory and I am also currently a graduate student working towards a degree in epidemiology.
There's a funny story that my dad enjoys telling about my first pet plains garter snake. I caught an adult female plains garter snake on my grandparents farm and set it up in a 10 gallon aquarium with a screened top, but there wasn't anything holding the screen top down, so the snake escaped. My dad and I spent days looking all over the house for that snake to no avail. After a week I had completely forgotten about that snake. My dad and I were in the basement when all of a sudden we heard horrifying screams from my mom upstairs. I looked at my dad with terror in my eyes thinking that someone was murdering my mother. I wondered why he wasn't running to her rescue? Instead he just sat there with an ornery grin on his face and laughingly said to me, "I think your mother just found your garter snake."
Today some 40 years later I'm still fascinated by garters. Complimented by my educational and career interests in molecular biology and genetics I am very interested in the genetics of the plethora of various garter snake morphs and breeding them in combinations. There are so many different color and pattern mutations with the morphs available today it is incredible. My current focus is mainly with Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis  (eastern garter) morph genes, such as the piebald, silver, erythristic, melanistic, and flame to name a few. The next few years my primary goal will be to create various color combination with the piebald gene. This of course will take at least two generations to fulfill. This year I hope to prove out the axanthic morph as a recessive gene of T. sirtalis semifasciatus (chicago garter) for the first time. I am also working on combining the pastel, albino, and  granite genes in the T. marcianus (checkered garter). I am also very interested in better characterization and understanding of the axanthic gene in T.radix (plains garter) and how it interacts with the anerythristic gene.
I have high hopes with some amazing projects this year. Many are novel projects and some will take another year or two to actually come to full fruition, but if all goes well will make some really interesting new combos as well as some new combo hets for future projects.
Thanks for visiting my web site; I hope you find some educational and entertainment value in it. I really appreciate the feedback from everyone. Thanks to my loving wife for supporting my passion for reptiles.
This will forever be a work in progress and frequently updated. The intent is to share information and enthusiasm to help everyone have success breeding garter snake morphs. Any comments or constructive criticisms are encouraged. Last updated 6/23/13


Copyright 2009 Garter Snake Morph by Jeff Benfer
Website design by Jeff Benfer