garter snake, noun phrase

Forms:
Also with initial capitals.
Origin:
South African DutchShow more Probably from South African Dutch kouseband, see kouseband.
Any of several species of snake of the Elapidae characterized by cross-band markings; kouseband; nachtslang sense 2 a. Occasionally with defining word designating a particular species, as Sundevall’s garter snake (Elapsoidea sundevallii).
1789 W. Paterson Narr. of Four Journeys 163The Kouse Band, or Garter Snake, is another of the poisonous reptiles.
1910 F.W. Fitzsimons Snakes of S. Afr. 84 (caption)The two smaller snakes are Garter Snakes...Sundervall’s Garter Snake or Kousband Slang.
1929 W. Rose Veld & Vlei 140Front-fanged snakes...Peninsula representatives of this group are the Cape Cobra..; the Ringhals..; the Coral Snake..; and the Garter Snake.
1937 Guide to Vertebrate Fauna of E. Cape Prov. (Albany Museum) II. 73Elaps lacteus,..Garter Snake...Aspidelaps lubricus,..Coral Snake..(Garter Snake. Kous Band).
1947 J. Stevenson-Hamilton Wild Life in S. Afr. 328The various species of garter snakes (Elaphecis and Homorelaps) likewise are akin to the true cobra.
1950 W. Rose Reptiles & Amphibians 298We have noticed the Garter Snake to have the curious habit when disturbed of wriggling violently, without progressing, in a manner well calculated to dazzle and bewilder an enemy.
1988 B. Branch Field Guide to Snakes & other Reptiles of Sn Afr. 90Garter snakes burrow in sandy or humic soils, coming to the surface at night.
Any of several species of snake of the Elapidae characterized by cross-band markings; kouseband; nachtslang2 a. Occasionally with defining word designating a particular species, as Sundevall’s garter snake (Elapsoidea sundevallii).

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17891988