Rough Green Snake

This slender species ranges along the Atlantic coast of North America, from Connecticut to Florida and inland to Kansas and Ohio. Rough green snakes prefer damp areas, including flooded meadows and around the edges of lakes, marshes and streams, and they will occasionally enter the water. They are good climbers and are frequently found several metres above the ground, often in trees and bushes that overhang water, where they are well hidden by their bright green coloration.

This snake is a vibrant green, with a paler, yellowish underside. The scales are keeled (they have a raised mid-line), a characteristic that differentiates this species from the smooth green snake, its close relative, which is found further north.

Rough green snakes are non-venomous. They do not need to constrict their prey either, since they eat only moths, grasshoppers, caterpillars and other soft-bodied invertebrates, which they simply snatch and swallow. Mating occurs in spring, and in summer the females produce about a dozen elongated, soft-shelled eggs, which are coated in an adhesive gel so that they stick together. The eggs are laid under or in rotting logs and beneath moss or rocks. Several females will often lay their eggs in the same place. The young, which are paler than the adults, hatch from their eggs in August and September.

Distribution: Eastern and southern United States.

Habitat: Wetlands.

Food: Insects and spiders.

Size: 71 cm (28 in).

Maturity: 2 years.

Breeding: Mates in spring.

Life span: Unknown.

Status: Common.

Gallery of Rough Green Snake