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Rough Green Snake

Photo by Suzanne L. Collins

Common Name: Rough Green Snake

Scientific Name: Opheodrys aestivus   

Size: Length in Kansas up to 34 1/2 inches


Kansas range map for the Rough Green Snake

Range: Restricted to the eastern third of Kansas; generally found no farther west than the eastern edge of the Flint Hills.

Description: Harmless. Named for the weakly keeled, bright green scales covering its body. A slender-bodied, serpent with a white or cream-colored belly. Tail is very long, almost 40% of total body length; tail is used as an anchor when snake is moving through branches of bushes and brush. Young are miniature adults.

Habits: Active during the day from April to early October. Highly arboreal (tree-dwelling); prefers bushes or shrubs along edge of streams and swamps; sometimes found on open brushy ridges. Very difficult to observe because its color blends so well with green vegetation. Breeding occurs in spring or autumn; up to 10 eggs per clutch are laid in June or July. Specializes in feeding on caterpillars, grasshoppers, crickets, dragonflies, damselflies and spiders.