Field Guide to Maryland's Snakes (Order Squamata)


Family Colubridae

Eastern Smooth Earthsnake

Common Name:

Eastern Smooth Earthsnake


Scientific Name:

Virginia valeriae valeriae

Photo of Adult Eastern Smooth Earthsnake - courtesy of Jay Kilian
Photo of Adult Eastern Smooth Earthsnake
courtesy of Jay Kilian


Size:
7 - 10 inches. Record - 15⅜ inches.

Appearance:
  • A plain small reddish brown or gray snake with no markings.
  • The back may have a faint light stripe down the centerline.
  • The belly is white or yellowish and unmarked.
  • Scales are essentially non-keeled, except for those on the tail which are very weakly keeled.
Photo of Adult Eastern Smooth Earthsnake - courtesy of Scott Smith
Photo of Adult Eastern Smooth Earthsnake
courtesy of Scott Smith

Habitats:

Old fields adjacent to deciduous woodlands, trails and dirt roadways through woodlands, any forest type, pastures, urban and suburban woodlots.


How to Find:

A very secretive species. Seldom observed above ground except after cool, heavy rains. Look under coarse woody debris, straw/hay bales and trash on field-woodland edges. Particularly under thin logs and boards that have been warmed by the sun. Non-venomous. Docile when handled.

Photo of Habitat for Eastern Smooth Earthsnake - courtesy of Tony Procheska
Photo of Habitat for Eastern Smooth Earthsnake
courtesy of Tony Procheska

Distribution in Maryland:

Found primarily on the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont regions.​

 

Eastern Smooth Earthsnake - Distribution in Maryland