Any of several species belonging to the family Colubridae, named for their colour. The North American green snakes are the two species of the genus Opheodrys. These docile, slender, harmless snakes often live in gardens. They lay eggs, and they subsist on insects and spiders. Rough Green Snake!
Rough Green Snake
The smooth green snake (Opheodrys vernalis), sometimes called green grass snake. Is about 50 cm (20 inches) long. The rough, or keeled (ridged), green snake (O. aestivus). Often called vine snake, is about 75 cm (23 inches) long.
These snakes occur widely in the eastern and southeastern United States. From southern New Jersey and Indiana south along the East Coast to Florida and west to central Texas. Eastern Kansas and central Oklahoma.
About Rough Green Snake
Rough green snakes are docile and seldom bite, when encountered by humans they often freeze allowing for a close approach. Even if they do bite they have no venom and are harmless to humans.
Even though they are definitely highly arboreal snakes they are also often found on the ground, routinely foraging in thick vegetation along shorelines during the daytime. During the night they can often be observed sleeping coiled in thick vegetation, shrubs, bushes or vine tangles.
Adult Coloration And Characteristics
Entirely bright green on upper surfaces with white or pale yellow below and yellowish or white labial (lip) scales, chin, and throat. Occasionally may be light brown, tan, or bronze instead of green.
Small slender snake with head only slightly wider than neck, unkeeled scales, and divided anal plate. Males smaller than females with relatively longer tails. Newborns range from 3.25 – 6.5” in length. Babies and small juveniles duller than adults, and are usually olive green, brownish, or bluish gray.
Distribution And Habitat
The smooth green snake occurs throughout the northeastern United States. From Missouri and the Dakotas in the west to the eastern seaboard from the northern half New Jersey in the south to Nova Scotia in the north.
Their range also extends south along the Appalachian Mountains into West Virginia, and western Virginia. Smooth green snakes are only found in the northern half of New Jersey. Rough green snakes can be found in the southern portion of the state.
Housing the Green Snake
Green snakes are small snakes, so do you not need a huge tank, but you do need to provide vertical space for climbing. A 30-gallon tank is a good choice because it provides lots of space for greenery as well as hiding spots. Green snakes are peaceful, so they can be kept in groups; three can live comfortably in a 30-gallon tank. The tank will need a very tight-fitting fine mesh screen lid to prevent escapes.
The greenery should fill at least a third of the tank. Branches and vines should also be provided for climbing as well as some hide boxes. For the substrate, reptile carpet makes a good choice, as do simple paper towels or paper. Substrates that could accidentally be ingested are best avoided.
Green Water Snake
A small shy nondescript and inoffensive green snake. These snakes favour damp localities such as shaded streams. Dense bushes and shrubs where they will actively hunt prey during the day. A uniform green snake which may have the appearance of being a pastel green, the belly is white and often will have a prominent yellow snout.
A fair less arboreal snake than the other green snake spending less time in trees and shrubs. They can often be found sleeping amongst the foliage at night on game drives and by herpetologists out frogging amongst the reeds in dams and ponds. When handled they will seldom attempt to bite and on ocasion may inflate the neck region and strike out in self defence but this is not common amongst the species.