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Opheodrys vernalis

Common Name: Smooth Green Snake
Opheodrys vernalis
Opheodrys vernalis

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Opheodrys
Species: Opheodrys vernalis

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

Smooth green snakes are slender, smooth-scaled, and can grow to around 14-26 inches in length. They are vibrantly light green colored, with a white-yellow belly. As young, they may be olive-green or brownish, but will show a distinct light green after their first skin shed.

Habitat & Range

Smooth green snakes can be found in moist fields and grassy areas throughout eastern Canada and the United States. During the winter, they hibernate in burrows or dug out underground areas in large groups. Due to their vibrant color, they rely on similar colored environments to blend and protect themselves from predators.


Smooth green snakes are shy and will flee if threatened. Due to their docile nature, they seldom bite and may allow humans to approach closely.

During warm months, smooth green snakes are active in the day and night. They hunt for insects and spiders and will kill prey using a strike rather than constriction.

Life Cycle

Smooth green snakes mate in late spring or summer. Females lay eggs in burrows, mounds, or rotting logs and leave the nest once the eggs are laid. Eggs hatch after 4 to 23 days and the young hatchlings are completely independent from birth, reaching adult maturity at around 2 years of age.

Featured image by D.R.


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