Smooth Green Snake

The smooth green snake (Opheodrys vernalis) is a nonvenomous North American colubrid. It is also referred to as the grass snake. It is a slender, "small medium" snake that measures 36–51 cm (14–20 in) as an adult. It gets its common name from its smooth dorsal scales, as opposed to the rough green snake. It is found in marshes, meadows, open woods, and along stream edges and is native to regions of Canada, Illinois, Virginia, Wyoming, New Mexico, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, Texas, and northern Mexico. A non-aggressive snake, it seldom bites and usually flees when threatened. It mates in late spring to summer and females lay their eggs from June to September.

The smooth green snake is slender. Its size is classified as a "small medium" snake, reaching to 36–51 cm (14–20 in) as an adult. The longest smooth green snake was measured as being 66 cm (26 in) long. The tail makes up about 1/4 to 1/2 the total length of the snake; males have longer tails than females. It is uniform light green on its back, with a yellow or white belly, and has smooth dorsal scales, unlike those of the rough green snake. At birth, its scales are a different color than when it matures. At first, it can be olive green, blue-gray, or even brown, but after it sheds its skin for the first time, its scales becomes the characteristic bright green. The dorsal coloration can vary depending on location: bluish in Kansas, olive-tinted light brown in southeastern Texas, and bronze in northern Wisconsin. Typical for a nonvenomous snake, its eyes are large and round. It uses its tongue, red with a black end, by flicking it in and out of its mouth to "smell" what is around it.