Smooth Greensnake

Opheodrys vernalis

IdentificationPhoto by Ron Payne. (All photos on this site are © copyright to the photographer and used by permission.)

True to its name, the Smooth Greensnake has smooth scales and is solid bright green with a white or off-white belly.  Very young greensnakes (neonates) are a very dark green.  Smooth Greensnakes can grow to be 2 feet long (the longest documented in Vermont is 19 inches).

Smooth Greensnakes lay eggs.  Dead snakes gradually turn blue.

Records in Vermont of Opheodrys ernalis (Smooth Greensnake)

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Range/Habitat

Smooth Greensnakes are found in beaver meadows, overgrown fields, pastures, and sedge meadows at all elevations but they appear to be missing entirely from most of the Northeast Kingdom.

Status

This species has a state natural heritage rank of S3 (uncommon); however, it is becoming difficult to find in Vermont. The Smooth Greensnake has been designated a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (medium priority) in Vermont’s Wildlife Action Plan. Please report all sightings of this species in Vermont. Take photos if possible. Even historic sighting information is useful. Any natural history observations (feeding, migrations, road crossing areas, early or late season appearance, abnormalities, etc.) are appreciated.

This snake was formerly classifed in the genus Liochlorophis.

Additional Photos

Photo by Nick Arms. (All photos on this site are © copyright to the photographer and used by permission.) Photo by Kiley Briggs. (All photos on this site are © copyright to the photographer and used by permission.) Photo by Nick Arms. (All photos on this site are © copyright to the photographer and used by permission.) Photo by Jay Plotkin. (All photos on this site are © copyright to the photographer and used by permission.)  Photo by Kiley Briggs. (All photos on this site are © copyright to the photographer and used by permission.) Photo by Cindy Sprague. (All photos on this site are © copyright to the photographer and used by permission.) Photo by Cindy Sprague. (All photos on this site are © copyright to the photographer and used by permission.) Photo by Erin Talmage. (All photos on this site are © copyright to the photographer and used by permission.)

 

More Info

Species summary written by Ariel K. McK. Burgess.