|The male is quite a bit smaller than the female in this pair.|
The heavily damaged tail on the female is an interesting feature, and one that will allow us to keep tabs on her going forward. We've been seeing a large garter around the office for some months, and now have a pretty good characteristic to look for which will help us determine if it is she all the time, or a collection of large garters in the area. The vent is just below this damaged area, which leads me to wonder if she experiences any difficulty in reproduction, but I expect that will remain a mystery.
Begs the question, though: how do those males know she's ready, and where she is?! My snap answer, of course, is "Pheromones!" But it turns out that's something I need to look up.
What a nice treat for an early fall afternoon! Get out there and see what you see this fall!
~ M.R. Burne
|This female's tail is heavily damaged.|