Official State Reptile of Virginia
The Virginia Senate designated the eastern garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) as the official state reptile in February 2016 (also the reptile symbol of Massachusetts). All State Reptiles
It was 11-year-old Aiden Coleman who championed the garter snake as a symbol of Virginia. Aiden sought support from his representative (Del. Brenda Pogge, R-James City County, who became HB335's patron) and helped to make his case to lawmakers in Richmond. An argument was made for the timber rattlesnake, but during the debate, senators made hissing and rattling sounds, and in the end, the garter snake won by a landslide 33-6 vote. The bill now goes to Governor Terry McAuliffe to be signed into law.