Fun Western Worm Snake Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 12, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Nov 08, 2021
Western worm snake facts include interesting information about their habitats.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.0 Min

The western worm snake (genus Carphophis) is a small colubrid snake that is non-venomous in nature and endemic to the central and eastern United States.

There are mainly two recognized species in the Carphophis genus, known as the eastern worm snake (Carphophis amoenus) and the western worm snake (Carphophis vermis). Both the Eastern Worm Snake (Carphophis amoenus) and the western worm snake (Carphophis vermis) are quite similar in their description.

Their body is covered with smooth and shiny scales and they also have a narrow head that is pointed in order to ease burrowing. They have small and round black eyes, and a sharp tail tip. They feed on insects and earthworms.

Read on to know everything from habitat, range to description and feeding habits of the western worm snake. If you liked this, check out anaconda snake facts and black racer snake facts.

Western Worm Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a western worm snake?

The western worm snake (Carphophis vermis) is a kind of small non-venomous, snake belonging to the Colubridae family. They are small and have similarities with Carphophis amoenus.

What class of animal does a western worm snake belong to?

The western worm snake (Carphophis vermis) belongs to the Reptilia class.

How many western worm snakes are there in the world?

The exact western worm snake range of population is not yet evaluated.

Where does a western worm snake live?

The western wormsnake (Carphophis vermis) can be found living in the west of the Mississippi River, in southeastern Nebraska, Missouri, southern Iowa, eastern Kansas, western Illinois, Louisiana, eastern Oklahoma, and northeastern Texas. There were also some isolated specimens of the species found in southeastern regions of Arkansas and Wisconsin.

What is a western worm snake's habitat?

The western worm snake, which eats earthworms, spends almost all of its life being buried in habitats that are rocky. Its habitat also consists of open hillsides, the edge of forests, and rocky wooded woodlands where flat rocks or logs of wood or leaf litter provide it with satisfactory shelters.

This species of snakes is never witnessed in the open due to its fossorial nature.

It tends to be hidden under rocks, wooded hillsides, logs, or burrow into the moist soil or inside forest leaf litter or wooden boards and are rarely seen in the wild. They are active in the months of spring to fall and burrow deeper in the soil in cold conditions.

They also go into hibernation in the Northern states during extremely cold weather conditions.

Who do western worm snakes live with?

There is no known evidence to show that the western wormsnake (Carphophis vermis) live within groups of its own species or with other worms. Hence they are assumed to sustain alone, buried away under embedded loose rocks, moist soil of partially wooded hillsides, behind leaf litter, and underground spaces.

They can also survive with humans when kept as a pet and in a safe atmosphere.

How long does a western worm snake live?

A western wormsnake (Carphophis vermis) can survive for almost four years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The worm snake species, that can be found in logs, tend to mate during the time of fall and early spring. The eggs are visible through the female's translucent underside before being laid. The eggs are laid during early summer from June to mid-July. The females lay the eggs under rocks or inside rocky wooded places or logs.

The female usually lays 2-12 eggs during early summer which are small in size. The eggs are elongated in shape and are almost 1 inch in length.

The mother stays beside the eggs for two months, which is known as the incubation period. The eggs further hatch in the month of August-September. The worm snake hatchlings range in length from 3-5 in (7-12 cm) at the time of birth.

​What is their conservation status?

These worm snake species are considered as the Least Concern species by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN) Red List for Threatened species. They are not rare in their habitats and are quite active.

Western Worm Snake Fun Facts

What do western worm snakes look like?

Western worm snake images are adorable.

Worm snakes are small in size, soft-bodied, and usually have a light to dark brown or purplish brown coloration on their upper side, while their underside is of a lighter coloration, which ranges from salmon pink or orange to white. This light pink color that is found on the belly extends on the sides of the body sometimes.

The juvenile or young snakes resembles the adult in coloration. The head of the snake is flattened and pointed to help the species in burrowing, and the pointed tail tends to terminate in a spike that helps in its burrow movement through the soil.

​How cute are they?

Their small structure, pink belly, soft-bodied and pointed tail appearance make them one of the cutest snakes out there, just like corn snakes. They are also harmless and non-venomous in nature which adds to their cuteness. The pink color of their belly is an attractive feature. The eggs laid during early summer and spring are cute.

How do they communicate?

Western wormsnakes are extremely shy and reserved in nature, like vine snakes. Although they tend to communicate within their own species through behavioral motions and gestures.

How big is a western worm snake?

The total length of western wormsnake is about 33 cm (12 in) which means they are almost 20 times bigger than the silkworm.

How fast can a western worm snake move?

Speed is not a strong attribute of the western worm snakes as the average speed recorded for them is around 147-164 ft (45-50 m) in 24 hours.

How much does a western worm snake weigh?

An average western worm snake weighs around 0.05 oz (1.4 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

They have no sex-specific names.

What would you call a baby western worm snake?

There is no specific name for a baby western worm snake.

What do western worm snakes eat?

The main source of the snake's diet includes earthworms and insects. They also feed on insect larvae that are found deep inside the soil and under rocks. They may eat insect larvae or slugs with a soft body but it happens rarely.

Are they poisonous?

No, western wormsnakes are not dangerous as they are non-venomous in nature. In fact, they do not tend to bite.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, western worm snakes can be excellent pets for snake lovers.

Did you know...

The range of worm snakes tends to have a sharp, pointy scale at the end of their pointed tail. Western worm snake in captivity jabs the captivator with this scale when captured and when they feel threatened.

The pinprick sensation surprises the captor which makes them loosen their grip over the snake and they can escape. This is entirely a defense mechanism and no venom is injected, hence it is harmless alerting.

Is the western worm snake endangered?

The western worm snakes are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN. They are not endangered yet, but in some locations, their population has declined. The species is considered partially threatened in Massachusetts and is protected throughout the state of Georgia and a species of special concern in Rhode Island.

Are worm snakes blind?

Worm snakes are often referred to as blind as they resemble an earthworm and they are not harmful compared to other species of snakes. They, however, do have eyes that are covered with translucent scales and reduce in size through the fetus's development, and by the time they hatch from their shells they tend to become almost blind.

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 scarlet snake facts, or vine snake facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by black racer snake coloring page.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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