Fun Rough Green Snake Facts For Kids

Rhea Nischal
Oct 20, 2022 By Rhea Nischal
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Ankit Shinde
Discover captivating Rough green snake facts about its habitat, behavior, feeding, and more!

The Rough Green Snake, Opheodrys aestivus, are species of snakes that are native to the wild region of North America. They are commonly referred to as grass snakes, green whip snakes, vine snakes, garden snakes, bush snakes, magnolia snakes, and keeled snakes.

These snakes have rough-keeled scales on the dorsal and lateral sides of their bright green-colored body. They have a yellow and cream-colored belly.

They get their name from the keeled scales that are present on their body. They have a slender body and due to their coloration, they camouflage excellently making it hard to spot them in the wild.

These species of snakes are diurnal and inhabit moist regions near water. Their habitat mainly comprises trees, shrubs, and dense vegetation. These snakes are arboreal in nature and are rarely found on the ground.

The females of this species are longer than the males. Their diet mainly comprises spiders, moths, crickets, insects, snails, tree frogs, and caterpillars.

The conservation status of this species is currently Least Concern in the IUCN's Red List of Endangered species. Keep reading to know more about its habitat, range, behavior, physical description, and more including a captivating smooth green snake vs rough green snake comparison!

If you like reading about the Rough green snake, Opheodrys aestivus, we suggest you read our facts about the worm snake and python as well!

Rough Green Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Rough Green Snake?

The Rough Green Snake is a snake species belonging to the family Colubridae and genus Opheodrys. They are Carnivores and prey upon insects, snails, tree frogs, and terrestrial arthropods. In captivity, their diet also consists of reptile food. They are bright green in color along with a yellow and cream belly. These snakes are diurnal in nature.

What class of animal does a Rough Green Snake belong to?

The Rough Green Snakes are members of the class Reptilia. They have two recognized subspecies further. One of them is the Northern Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus aestivus) that is found across all the locations of the Rough green snake except the state of Florida.

These snakes have a more cream-colored belly. The other subspecies is the Florida Rough Green snake  (Opheodrys aestivus carinatus) which is found only in Florida. Its underside has more of a yellow shade.

How many Rough Green Snakes are there in the world?

Their population size of this reptile is unknown. However, their population is stable and widespread.

Where does a Rough Green Snake live?

They are found across Florida, Indiana, coastal to northern Maine, and Central to west Texas. They are also spotted throughout the Atlantic coastal plain as well as Piedmont. They range throughout Tamaulipas, Nueve León, and Northeastern and Central Mexico.

What is a Rough Green Snake's habitat?

This species of snakes have a wide range of habitats residing in trees, shrubs, vine tangles, marshes, ponds, lakes, and thick vegetation of the United States. The habitat locations have one thing in common.

They are all near water making these snakes excellent swimmers. They typically occupy a moist region such as meadows, thick vegetation, woodlands, vines, dense groups of shrubs, and water bodies.

Who does Rough Green Snake live with?

These reptiles are solitary arboreal species. The Rough green snakes prefer to stay on their own. Interestingly, throughout the breeding period, they breed with multiple partners. However, they don't even care for their snakelets. These bright green snakes are diurnal, meaning that they are active mostly during the daytime and are inactive at night.

How long does a Rough Green Snake live?

The life span of the Rough Green Snake is about six to eight years. They have also been observed to have a very long life span of 15 years.

How do they reproduce?

Each breeding season, rough green male and female snakes have several mating partners typically. Their mating season begins in spring.

Some snakes breed two times a year, once in spring and then sometimes again in fall. During the breeding period, they have certain courtship behavior as well before they breed, which includes crawling on dorsal scales, rubbing chins, waving tail, and shaking their heads.

After breeding, the male snakes leave. Females lay 2-14 eggs, sometimes in a nest in use by other females as well. The location of the nest is on the ground beneath wooden boards, beneath rocks, or under rotting fallen trees.

The eggs are incubated for about 5-12 weeks. Snakelets are perfectly formed at birth, are gray or pale green in color, and measure 7.1-7.9 in (18-20 cm) in length.

Females do not care for their offspring, and after hatching, the snakelets have to fend for themselves. Females typically are mature for reproduction between the ages of 21-33 months, whereas males get mature for reproduction at 20-21 months.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this species is Least Concern as per the IUCN's Red List. Its population is widespread throughout the range of locations it inhabits.

The Rough green snakes are a protected species across Georgia. This snake species may be disappearing in some locations primarily in southern Florida. Rapid urbanization has diminished their population numbers.

Development particularly by the removal of vegetation around streams is harming their natural habitat. A large number of these snakes are killed on roadways or get poisoned by chemicals used to destroy their prey.

Rough Green Snake Fun Facts

What do Rough Green Snakes look like?

The Rough green snakes have a thin body that is quite long with rough, keeled scales as their name suggests, along with a yellow and cream belly. It has big eyes on its bright green heads. They can grow as long as 3.8 ft (115 cm) in length, with an average length of 22-45.6 in (55-115 cm).

They are very narrow, often with the diameter of their body measuring about one inch. The female snake is has a greater length than the male snake. The snakelets look like mini-adults.

The Rough green snakes are bright green in color with a thin body that can be as long as 3.8 ft (115cm)!

How cute are they?

The Rough Green snakes are quite cute as they have big eyes on their small heads Their coloration is bright green with yellow and cream belly. They have become quite famous in the pet trade. The snakelets especially look quite cute as they resemble adults completely and look like miniature adults.

How do they communicate?

Rough green snakes crawl on dorsal scales, rub chins, wave the tail, and jerk their heads as part of courtship behavior to communicate with the female.

How big is a Rough Green Snake?

The slender Rough Green, Opheodrys aestivus, snake reaches up to 3.8 ft (1.2 m) in length comprising the tail. It is half the size of the Inland taipan snake.

How fast can a Rough Green Snake move?

The exact speed of these snakes are is not known, but we do know that they are slow-moving arboreal snakes that are excellent swimmers.

How much does a Rough Green Snake weigh?

The Rough green snake range between 0.3-1.9 oz (9-54 g) in weight.

What are their male and female names of the species?

They are simply referred to as males and females. They don't have any specific name with regard to their gender.

What would you call a baby Rough Green Snake?

A baby rough green snake can be referred to as a snakelet.

What do they eat?

This snake stalks tiny amphibians and invertebrates, for their food, through vines and shrubs, usually mimicking the movement of branches moving in the air for excellent camouflaging. This trait allows the rough green snake to become completely disguise itself with its surroundings, making it a more covert predator.

The Rough Green snake diet has a wide range of prey including insects, snails, tree frogs, and terrestrial arthropods. These slender snakes are prey for quite a few animals.

Their major predators include bigger snakes like the Eastern king snake (Lampropeltis getula) and the eastern racer (Coluber constrictor), household cats, birds, and even some huge spiders.

As these snakes do not bite or have lightning speed, their only defense is to camouflage and hope that they don't become prey. As they are excellent swimmers, they swim away to avoid predators.

Are they poisonous?

No, these snakes are not venomous and pose no threat to humans. They don't even bite humans as they are quite timid in nature and prefer to stay camouflaged.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, a Rough green snake pet is an excellent pet as it is timid, non-venomous, and doesn't bite. Perhaps, they are the most exploited pet snakes in America.

To match its arboreal activities, the rough green snake should be maintained in a large enclosure. This pet snake gets stressed super soon and feeding might not take place too, so proper arrangements must be made.

A 55-75 gallon enclosure can accommodate two adults. It would plausible to decorate it with dense plants to resemble the snake's natural environment as doing so will help the rough green snake feel at ease while allowing it to use its excellent camouflage.

Rough green snakes prefer a temperature range of 85-88 degrees Fahrenheit. This will improve the snake's quality of life and improve its standard of living. Their diet must include food like spiders, moths, crickets, and caterpillars.

They like reptile food as well. They can be given food every other day.

The Opheodrys aestivus snake species is not at all aggressive in nature and doesn't even make an effort to bite. While carrying your rough green snake, hold its body close to yours.

Did you know...

The coloration of this snake becomes blue after it dies!

How much does a Rough Green Snake cost?

It roughly costs about $8 in the US.

What is the difference between Rough Green Snakes and Smooth Green Snakes?

Rough green snake vs smooth green snake: The Smooth green snakes can grow as long as 2 ft whereas the rough green snakes reach only 1 ft. The smooth green snakes are smooth as their name suggests whereas the rough green snakes have elevated keels visible on the lateral and dorsal scales of the snake.

The eyes of the Rough green snakes are also substantially bigger. The Rough green snakes lay eggs in summer whereas the smooth green snakes lay eggs in spring.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our boa facts and smooth green snake surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable snake coloring pages.

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Written by Rhea Nischal

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

Rhea Nischal picture

Rhea NischalBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

A background in Business Administration and Management from MCM DAV College, Rhea has led her to work for her father's global business. However, her passion for content production, where she manages operations to ensure all processes run smoothly. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with her one-year-old nephew.

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Fact-checked by Ankit Shinde

Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ankit Shinde picture

Ankit ShindeBachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ankit is a Journalism and Mass Media graduate from the University of Mumbai. With experience in SEO, blog and article writing, and fiction writing, he is a versatile writer and content creator. In his free time, Ankit enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music.

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