Snakes are not everyone’s favorite animal. Many of us have a strong distaste for snakes, and others have a near obsession.
There are hundreds of snake breeds in North America. Almost too many to count. In this post, however, I will cover just one – the Rough Green Snake.
If you live in the Southern United States, it is most likely that you have come across one of these in your lifetime. Continue reading this post to discover 10 interesting facts about the Rough Green Snake.
10 Interesting Facts About the Rough Green Snake
Rough Green Snakes are native to the mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States.
They are generally found in the Piedmont, Atlantic coastal plain, and all throughout the Southern US.
Rough Green Snakes are especially common in Florida due to the warm weather and the availability of vegetation. Some have even been sighted in northeastern Mexico.
These snakes are not found in higher elevation mountain areas, so do not expect to find
Rough Green Snake Shape and Color
These cute nonvenomous snakes grow up to 32 inches long and are sylphlike.
They may be hard to spot among the brush, but if you do happen to run across one, they have rough-looking scales and are colored bright green and have yellowish or white bellies.
The color of their bellies extends all the way to their chin and lips.
You will find the Rough Green Snake in areas with thick vegetation.
They like to hide in places like meadows, overgrown pasture, tallgrass prairies, thickets, vines, shrubs, woodlands, and trees.
They love to climb trees, so make sure to look up when you are out and about in the woods if you want to find one.
These little guys are hard to spot because of their ability to camouflage so keep your eye out the next time you go hiking!
Rough Green Snakes are also commonly seen near any kind of water sources such as wetlands, forest creeks, and rivers.
They are exceptional swimmers but tend to keep to land as much as possible.
Rough Green Snake Eating Habits
Rough Green Snakes are not like other snakes, although they are still considered carnivorous. They eat mainly insects and spiders but will also eat small frogs.
Rough Green Snakes are also an important food source for local predators including birds, large snakes, and domestic cats.
Length of life
The Rough Green Snake can live up to 8 years which is a relatively short amount of time compared to the general lifespan of most snakes.
The consensus on the average length of life for a snake is 20-30 years.
Rough Green Snakes hibernate in the winter if they are local to more northern regions.
In Southern Florida and parts of Mexico, however, they usually do not. These snakes are also generally found rummaging around during the day and often sleep under rocks, underbrush, or leaves at night.
The Rough Green Snake mates in spring and sometimes again in the fall. Male Rough Green Snakes use a variety of motor patterns to court the females such as chin rubbing, tail waving, and head jerking.
The male immediately leaves the female after breeding occurs and both males and females end up having multiple partners each breeding season.
Several female Rough Green Snakes usually share a nest together. They lay 2-14 eggs in early summer after spring mating season and again in late fall if breeding occurs a second time.
Baby Rough Green Snakes hatch in early fall and resemble the adult Rough Green Snake; however, their color is not quite as bright green as the adults.
All in the Family
Rough Green Snakes have a cousin.
If you are in the mid-Atlantic or farther up north, you will find a snake that looks exactly like the Rough Green Snake except for one main difference: the texture of the scales.
These snakes are called (surprise!) The Smooth Green Snake. The Smooth Green Snake grows to be 12-26 inches in length. It is also colored bright green with yellow and white on its underside.
They are also common in wetter areas with thick vegetation.
Smooth Green Snakes also hibernate and have the same eating habits as their cousin the Rough Green Snake.
These smoother green snakes are pretty much all around the same as the Rough Green Snake, so do not get confused if you come across one in the wild.
The best way to identify the two is to pick them up and feel the texture of the scales.
When a Rough Green Snake dies, it turns blue or black. They then resemble Small Black Racers (also known as the Southern Black Racer).
The Southern Black Racer is a non-venomous Coluber constrictor usually much larger than the Rough Green Snake (up to 60 inches), but is still quite small and slender, so the color of the dead Rough Green Snake will be extremely similar to this snake, so be careful when trying to identify a dead Rough Green Snake.
The Rough Green Snake has many different vernacular forms of its name.
Here are a few of them: Bush snake, grass snake, green summer snake, green whip snake, huckleberry snake, magnolia snake, and vine snake.
The genus of the Rough Green Snake is a North American colubrid.
Another great thing to know about the Rough Green Snake is that it is quite docile and does not bite.
If it does bite, the bite only pinches a bit, and it does not have fangs, so do not fear if you catch one and it ends up giving you a nibble.
Next time you are in your backyard garden, be on the lookout for one of these adorable little snakes. If you have a pool near your garden, it is even more likely that you will discover one.
They can make great pets especially if you have curious little ones at home that may have a love for slithering animals.