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Smooth Green Snake

Smooth Green Snake
Opheodrys vernalis

Image of smooth green snakeDescription

A small, smooth-scaled bright green snake with a whitish or yellowish belly. Baby Green Snakes are olive, brown, or gray.

Adult Length:

12 to 20 inches.

Habitat and Habits

These gentle little snakes are usually found in grassy places where their color makes them difficult to see. They feed on insects, caterpillars, and spiders. They rarely bite when handled, but may emit a musky anal secretion.


Females lay from 3 to 12 tiny eggs under a rock or other cover in early summer. The babies may hatch in a month or less.

Range and Status

Smooth Green Snakes have been found throughout Michigan, but seem to have disappeared from much of the southern Lower Peninsula. Their insect diet may make them vulnerable to the effects of chemical pesticides.


James Harding
MSU Museum
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 353-7978