Squamata

Field Guide to Maryland's Snakes (Order Squamata)


Family Colubridae

Smooth Greensnake

Common Name:

Smooth Greensnake


Scientific Name:

Opheodrys vernalis

Photo of Smooth Greensnake courtesy of Matt Sell
Photo of Smooth Greensnake courtesy of Matt Sell


Size:
14 inches - 20 inches. Record: 26 inches.

Appearance:
  • Like its close cousin the northern rough greensnake, the smooth greensnake is long and slender, vibrant green above and yellow to whitish below.
  • The smooth greensnake, however, does not have keeled upper scales, giving it its distinctive smooth appearance.
  • Newborns start out a darker olive green but get brighter as they age.
  • After death, the color fades to blue.

Photo of Smooth Greensnake courtesy of John White
Photo of Smooth Greensnake courtesy of John White


Habitats:

Prefers open areas like fields, meadows, marshes, stream edges, open woodlands and hillsides at higher elevations.


How to Find:

Usually found on the ground in the open but also may hide under rocks and logs. In the spring, as these creatures emerge from hibernation, look around anthills or other animals' burrows. Non-venomous.

Photo of Habitat for Smooth Greensnake - courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
Photo of Habitat for Smooth Greensnake
courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers


Distribution in Maryland:

Found in western Maryland, from Frederick County to Garrett County.​

Smooth Greensnake - Distribution in Maryland