Fun Green Snake Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Jan 19, 2023 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
Fun Green Snake Facts For Kids

The smooth green snake (Opheodrys vernalis) is one of the commonly found grass snake species, also referred to as the grass snake. They are one of the North American nonvenomous snakes in the family Colubridae.

The name it got is due to its smooth dorsal scales and being green in color makes it more unique and interesting. The smooth green snakes are commonly found in these areas such as marshes, meadows, open woods, and along the stream edge.

Sometimes it is seen that they can be found in forested areas as well. They are the only snake species to be found in Michigan, being a recognizable bright green in color and sometimes brown or tan in color too.

These smooth snakes are slender in size and are small-medium snakes. In terms of looks, the snake has scales and a uniform light green coloration on its back, with a yellow or white belly and with some smooth dorsal scales.

Usually, these dorsal scales are different at the time of birth and change after maturity.

At first, most of it is olive green, blue-gray, or even brown in color, but the real change comes after it sheds the skin for the first time, which brings out the main characteristic of being bright green. The male green smooth snakes are generally bigger than the female ones.

There are different kinds of subspecies of these smooth snakes too, such as Eastern, Western, and Northern smooth green snakes.

These snakes are insectivores by nature so their food varies from various insects, for example insects and spiders, including spineless ants, worms, caterpillars, moths, snails, harvestmen, and slugs. During the wintertime, these snake populations prefer to hibernate, while in months of summer they become very active both day and night.

If you are interested in knowing more about the smooth green snake (Opheodrys vernalis) species then read on! For more fascinating content, check out our articles on worm snake and cottonmouth snake facts.

Smooth Green Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a smooth green snake?

Smooth green snake as the name suggests is a type of snake which is usually found in different parts of Northern America.

What class of animal does a smooth green snake belong to?

These snakes are purely belonging to the reptilian class, which comprises these legless reptiles and all the other snakes.

How many smooth green snakes are there in the world?

The snakes aren't on the verge of being extinct. With no exact data provided for the exact number of smooth green snakes present in the world, we can conclude that there are plenty.

Where does a smooth green snake live?

The smooth green snake location is usually the Nearctic region. They are also found in the region of northeastern Canada, west to Saskatchewan, south through Illinois and Virginia. The Opheodrys vernalis can also be found in places like Mexico, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado and some other US states.

What is a smooth green snake's habitat?

The smooth green snake habitat in which these snakes are found is mostly filled with moist, grassy areas, usually in prairies, meadows, pastures, marshes, and near lakes. Since they are arboreal, they are often seen climbing from the trees which is quite a favorite habitat of theirs.

Who do smooth green snakes live with?

Smooth green snakes are usually never seen living with any other snakes even of their same kind but there might be the possibility that they prefer to choose to live with the family, that is the offspring, the male, and the female together, during the time of incubation.

How long does a smooth green snake live?

The average lifespan of these snakes is not exactly known but can be estimated at around six years by some of the best experts on snakes currently present in the world.  

How do they reproduce?

There are very specific times when these smooth snakes prefer to mate, and these fall around the spring and late summer. The female mostly plays the key role in reproduction.

Before delivering the smooth green snake eggs, they lay around 3-13 cylindrical eggs in shallow rodent burrows nests, under the rotting vegetation such as leaves. The female green snake has been seen sharing nests with other snakes too.

The time period for eggs laying is usually from June to September and the hatching of eggs takes place in August or September. It takes around 4-13 days for the smooth green snake baby to hatch.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the smooth green snake is usually considered to be Least Concern, but in some parts of the US, there might be some concern about these species as there some studies also seen where the population of the snake is declining with marginal speed.

Smooth Green Snake Fun Facts

What do smooth green snakes look like?

First of all, due to their rather small size, these snakes are known as 'small medium' snakes. They are the only snake to be found in North America that are entirely bright green.

Thanks to them being green in color, it is helping them to be camouflaged in the surrounding with all the greenery. Coming to the actual body parts, the head is considered to be slightly wider than the neck and is mostly green above and white below.

Also, the belly part is white to pale yellow. They are fully covered in scales that are mostly smooth and the body length is 30-66 cm.

The males are mostly smaller in size than females but have longer tails. The newborn baby snakes are found to be olive green in coloration.

The main reason for the declining population of this snake is habitat destruction.

How cute are they?

These smooth green snakes can be considered as cute because they are so small in size and more importantly there's no proof of the smooth green snake venomous.

How do they communicate?

They actually communicate with themselves, like all the other snakes, depending on their sense of smell, vision, and the detection of vibrations to locate their prey. Another trick with which they mainly communicate with others is by the use of chemical cues and through tactile cues.

How big is a smooth green snake?

When we are talking about how big the populations of the green snake are then it probably might shock you that it is known as one of the smallest snakes found in the world. It may range up to 30-60 cm in length.

How fast can a smooth green snake move?

The snake is considered to be a bit lazy in terms of moving and they prefer to hang on the branches and leaves of the tree throughout the day, so there's no exact speed known with which they can run or move.

It's assumed they move like all other snake species, although their small size could suggest they are pretty agile.

How much does a smooth green snake weigh?

The weight of green smooth snakes isn't too much as they are not too big of an animal in size. It usually ranges from 50-60 g.

What are their male and female names of the species?

No specific names for the males and females species of the smooth green snake populations are given.

What would you call a baby smooth green snake?

We love to call these snake babies by the name given to them only because there has been no set name assigned, although the females lay eggs in a cylindrical shape.

What do they eat?

The genus or the population of the smooth green snake diet ranges from the various kinds of insects and spiders, including snails, harvestmen, ants, spineless caterpillars, worms, moths, and slugs.

Are they aggressive?

No, they aren't considered aggressive until and unless you try to poke them or provoke them in any way. They are nonvenomous snakes and are fairly harmless.

Would they make a good pet?

A smooth green snake pet might be a suitable pet as it doesn't harm humans. However, if we are talking about environmental conditions for the snake, then it would be great to leave these creatures alone in their own environment which is best suited for them and others around them.

As pets, these would be better suited to experienced snake owners. They prefer quiet habitats, are shy, and do not like to be handled.

While they do not grow to great sizes, you will need a vertical hanging space for them in their tank. You must ensure that the enclosure is tightly closed to prevent escapes.

Their ideal habitat would contain at least 50% greenery with places to hide, just as they would have in a natural environment. It is important to ensure that the temperature and light in the enclosure are also suitable for the snake.

In terms of smooth green snake care, a diet of worms and soft insects is preferred. Feeding at sunset or sunrise on one to two days a week will hopefully entice your pet snake the most as they are shy feeders.

In terms of drinking, the smooth green snake prefers to drinking droplets off leaves, so be sure to mist the greenery. You should also provide a shallow dish of water for a soak.

Did you know...

Smooth green snakes are the only snakes that are found in eastern North America. It has a closely related or cousin breed with them which is known as a rough green snake.

The green snake got their name as green because they are arboreal snakes and they are mostly found hanging from the tree branches. They also have bright green-colored skin.

The longest smooth green snake was measured as being 26 in (66 cm) in total length.

They are also known to shed their skin as often as every four to five weeks, to ensure proper growth.

They play an important role in the environment as these smooth green snakes impact the populations of insect prey and provide food for their predators.

If you're wondering about rough green snake vs smooth green snake, the name does have a huge hint! Rough green snakes have raised keels in their scales and can also grow about a foot longer than their smoother friends.

Why is a smooth green snake bright green?

This coloration is an adaptation to help them in doing the very good camouflage in which they are well-hidden amongst their green surroundings and grassy habitats.

How do smooth green snakes protect themselves from predators?

Their predators are usually big birds such as hawks and American crows and some large snakes too. They are also preyed on by some of the easily found mammals such as raccoons and foxes.

They usually use the green camouflage to hide away from the predators but also will bite and thrash if harassed. They also have the ability to smear predators with a nasty-smelling fluid.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including kingsnake, or copperhead snake.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Green snake coloring pages.

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

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Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel

Bachelor of Business Management

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Yashvee PatelBachelor of Business Management

Yashvee has won awards for both her writing and badminton skills. She holds a business administration honors degree and has previously interned with social media clients and worked on content for an international student festival. Yashvee has excelled in academic competitions, ranking in the top 100 in the Unified International English Olympiad and placing second in an essay-writing competition. Additionally, she has won the inter-school singles badminton title for two consecutive years.

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