Rough Green Snakes Care Sheet

Rough Green Snakes

Scientific Facts

Common Name:Rough Green Snakes
Scientific Name:Opheodrys aestivus
Life Span:Up to 8 years
Size:71 cm (28 in)
Country of Origin:North America
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What is Rough Green Snake?

The rough green snake is a non-poisonous serpent with a long, slim, glossy green frame. It dwells in shady woodlands and bushes in densely sprouted fields in every part of the Chesapeake Bay district.

They are likewise famous by several other well-known aliases bush snake, green tree snake, vine snake, keel-scaled green snake, green whip snake, magnolia snake, green summer snake, and huckleberry snake.

The species also partake familiar pseudonyms like green grass snake or grass snake with their American kinsman, the smooth green snake. The nonvenomous species generally named grass snake discovered in Europe is entirely irrelevant.

Appearance and Size

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The rough green snake is a somewhat lanky species, stretching as prolix as 116 cm, albeit the standard range is approximately 50 to 81 cm. They are considerably slim, generally hardly much short in diameter. Their uppermost body is a smooth glossy green while the abdomen, mandible, and mouth layers are whitish, cream, or yellow.

Because they consume much of their growth passing through nature, this pigmentation creates an excellent deception toward the green herbs.​ When they weaken, their normal sparkling green pigment disappears to a blue or black shade, and stagnant exemplars may resemble a tiny black sprinter.

Females are insignificantly longer than males, and a young rough green snake mirrors grown-up individuals’ lack of their lighter image. Similar to their popular title, implies they have toppled rear scales. They likewise have slightly enlarged optics by association with their entire measurement.

Geographical Range

Opheodrys aestivus is observed extensively throughout the southeastern United States. It is seen generally located along the East Coast toward the Florida Keys and as distant north as southern New Jersey. The western area extends to northern Mexico, Texas, and into middle Oklahoma.


There are 2 subspecies presently acknowledged by experts.

Northern rough green snake (Opheodrys aestivus aestivus )

They hold more extra of a whitish underneath. Spotted all over their scope, excluding Florida. 

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Florida rough green snake (Opheodrys aestivus carinatus)

This subspecies as a more yellowish underside. As the nickname indicates it’s discovered in Florida, is one of 44 non-toxic Florida serpent species.

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Rough Green Snakes generally grow from saturated domains like on the surfaces of streams, banks, or swamps. They flourish between areas with quantities of woodlands and lanky field. When trailing, they will imitate the flow of their environment. Frequently traveling with a twig going equipped to jump on their innocent victim. The Rough Green Snake group has been in the deterioration of the deceased. This could notably be produced by the reality that individuals have attempted to exterminate pests with pesticides covering the past several decades. This causing bug figures to fall, therefore influence their meal accumulation.

Common Behavior

Rough green snakes are arborous and non-nocturnal. They waste their bedtimes curled on the distant borders of tree twigs near the oceanfront. Despite being arboreal, they consume time on the terrain exploring. They are stationary and will not snap as a security, but somewhat retreat into thick shrubs where they are concealed. These snakes are productive apart from the freezing winter periods, commonly from December to February, varying on environmental situation and condition. The snowy months are consumed in brumation. Rough green snakes are unsociable, but there is a likelihood that they utilize collective egg-reproducing.

Diet & Feeding Habits

Rough green snakes are a stern insect-eating animal. They relish consuming smooth-bodied bugs, like caterpillars, spiders, worms, and moths. They’ll likewise devour maggots. However, they can further consume firm-bodied bugs like crickets, grasshoppers, and the like. This indicates that they’re an excellent option for serpents that feed mice. 

They particularly work their remarkable eyesight to track vital victims. Although a trivial change of a limb or aerials is adequate to allure the concentration of these serpents to the position of their victim.

As acclaimed by Goldsmith, during the first stage of their procedure, these serpents utilize quick and abnormal moves, but they decrease down as they more advance their victim. When rough green snakes are nearly 3 cm from the loot, they feign recoil-like arches with their body, accompanied by adjusting of the body, providing the serpent to launch its crest into the victim, punching either at the cranial or chest. 

They seldom elevate they’re cranial above the underlayer instantly upon snapping to take prey apart from anything that may help their release. The victim is pulled more into the muzzle and consumed by actions of the mandible. Prey is generally eaten head first.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

Rough green snakes breed reproductively with physical implantation. These serpents are diverse, with males disappearing nearly shortly after mating. Dating action of rough green snakes comprises the optical adjustment of males against females, reaching, body connection, and body adjustment. Some movement markings that are presented throughout these phases are rear creeping, jaw brushing, tail swaying, and head bouncing. Once arranged with a female, a male starts with tailpiece exploration mutation efforts in vigorous discharges accompanied by phases of immobility.

Rough green snakes enter reproductive development at 21 months in males and 21 to 33 months in females. Albeit they reproduce every spring, autumn couplings have been recorded. The pregnancy stage can reach from a month or three, varying on warmth, and they generally produce their cells throughout June and July. The lump measurement is 3 to 12 soft-shelled eggs. Males primarily generate in the flowering of their secondary age, commonly about 21 months. Though barely half of the females partake in propagating across their following spring, while the opposite half suspense an added year. Conceptively, adult females, can extend from 36 to 40 cm nose-aperture measure, while reproductively-grown-up males equate 30 cm.


Existence standards are not properly identified for young rough green serpents. Though, grown-ups have profound toughness, which may somewhat justify why certain serpents grow reproductively ready ahead and produce huge lumps periodically. The principal reasons for extinction are ecological circumstances (warm, dusty situations) and rapaciousness. This species has a standard growth likelihood of 5 years; however, it can stretch up to 8 years.

How to Breed Rough Green Snakes?

Confined cultivating can be accomplished by decreasing the measure of sunshine and atmospheric conditions in your pet’s terrarium slowly at the start of autumn. Around the period of August, daytime hours must begin to be steadily lessened, and this can be influenced by the decrease of sunlight hours outdoor as great as your confined serpents are in a chamber with a peephole. 

With the decline of sunlight, an evening decrease in warmth must likewise be consolidated, and this must be achieved slowly by as numerous as 5 degrees every seven to fourteen days until the wanted temperature is attained. These modifications to the pet’s general sequence will support the serpent to stall down and hinder supplying openly and provide the serpent course enough to evade its plunders, limiting difficulties due to microbes and compression while sleeping.

Serpents must eventually be moderated to warmth merely under 10 degrees a day, and this decrease in condition must last nearly 90 days, following which temperatures can gradually be boosted back to standard. Nearly a month after arising out of hibernation, serpents will start to display symptoms of nurturing habits and mating will transpire. 

Males will address a female and slither above her body, shifting his cranial from side to side. If she is perceptive, she will elevate her end and enable intercourse. This reproducing action may continue for as lengthy as 7 days with various mating endeavors. Five to 10 eggs are generally deposited freely inside the terrarium and must be transferred to be bred synthetically. Accumulated eggs must be managed delicately and not altered or rotated. The eggs and be stored in moistened vermiculite and nurtured favorably at 28 degrees. Eggs will deliver tiny, deep hatchlings. Subsequent 30 to 45 days, merely after they achieve their initial skin discard, they will be set to fill.

Care Sheet


Green snakes are tiny serpents, so while you don’t require a large container, you do necessitate to present perpendicular area for ascending. A 30-gallon container is a stable option because it gives loads of scope for greenery as healthy as concealing points. The container will require a particularly tight-suitable excellent screen lid to block escapism.

These snakes are tiny enough that real shrubs such as ivy, pothos, and other nonpoisonous bushes will remain in the container, but silk plants are subtle, too.


Rough green snakes love to excavate, but their broad environmental area provides you several choices when it gets to underlayer or covers. But you’re not restricted to sand. You can utilize various organic beddings that will hold your pet comfortable and strong. You can decide between sphagnum moss, mulch, or orchid skin and coconut shell.

Sphagnum moss or cypress mulch in distinct grasp onto damp pretty soundly, so if you’re holding difficulty maintaining the moisture in their container up, think to apply either one of those options.

Merely make certain that the bedding isn’t moist or soaked all the terms, or in each section of your pet’s terrarium, as this can promote microbes breathing epidemics.

Temperature & Lighting

All over their original scope, rough green snakes endure tropical climate throughout most of the year. Much as they are competent of withstanding severe frost in their wider Northern territories, these serpents do most beneficial when kept at consistent warmth year-round.

Temperature can be presented in various methods hinging on the measurement and layout of the chamber. Conventional and radiated heat tubes are excellent options, as are porcelain temperature discharges and beneath container heating mattresses.

Contrary to most nonvenomous serpents, rough green snakes appear to do strongly when displayed to full-scope ultraviolet radiation during standard daylight hours. For this reason, the brightness conditions of these snakes are more comparable to those of daytime reptiles than those of most serpent species.

While several keepers possess peripheral progress raising these serpents without the advantage of UV illumination, most specialists yet acknowledge that their application is justified, and may even enhance the pet’s entire wellness and liveliness balance.


The greater their container, the further you must to take to hold it at the appropriate moisture level. If you apply a shower jug to retain the balance up, then you’ll have to sprinkle more each moment, or more frequently. If you utilize a liquid dish to hold the moisture level up, then you’ll require a larger one to counterbalance.

You likewise should be attentive that the more holes within which evaporated water can leave, the further that the moisture balance will plummet. You must have each of these in thought when obtaining a chamber.

To monitor the moisture in your pet’s container, you’ll require a hygrometer. These are similar to thermometers, solely for moisture. You can either buy one on its own, or one in a snake collection that occurs with a thermometer also. Merely make certain that the articles state it runs properly because taking a damaged one may create wellness problems in your serpent (as they’re toward the altered moisture balance).

Food & Water Nourishments

Green snakes are insect-eating-animal and are with the several serpents that consume a menu solely comprising of bugs. In the native, they chiefly devour a diversity of insects such as spiders, crickets, caterpillars, moths, fly larvae, and grasshoppers.

In custody, it is most efficient to maintain food fundamentally of crickets, despite that it is notably essential to make certain the nutrition is yet slightly diverse. Supplement in parts such as earthworms, spiders, grasshoppers, and moths as satisfying as practicable.

Mealworms can be filled to green serpents but solely infrequently, as their firm cases act a danger of compression. Choose freshly shed mealworms to decrease the risks of compression. Other light feeder larvae, such as wax worms, could likewise be granted on an event. Be certain that you don’t give any loot parts that are more extensive than your pet’s body. 

Each victim’s parts must be abdomen filled, indicating they’re served a beneficial intake themselves. They must likewise be sprinkled with a calcium addition at most limited several occasions a week. 

A shallow bowl of liquid must be given, big enough for the serpent to surmount into for a bathe, but shoal enough to hinder submerging. Though, these serpents appear to favor sipping water dewdrops off stalks fairly than from a container, so a regular drizzling of the herb is needed, as you would do for a chameleon.

Handling & Temparament

They are a highly non-assertive species of a serpent and infrequently if ever even ventures to snap in confinement. It is, though, necessary to have the treatment your confined rough green snake to a least because they serve to accentuate very easily when away of the security of their room and its thick shielding vegetation. Identify rough green snakes are meant to be involved among the stalks and branches of their familiar surroundings, and they comprehend they are shrouded there; taking them out into the public can hold very disturbing results on this species of serpent. If you need to touch your rough green snake, manage it carefully and tight to your body without allowing it dangle freely from your fingers.

Health Problems

The most prevalent wellness concerns are the consequence of inappropriate moisture balance.

Stayed discards are produced by a deficiency of liquidity. If there isn’t sufficient water in the atmosphere, and your pet doesn’t possess a liquid container, your snake’s coat and flakes will be excessively sterile. When the term begins to cast, they’ll solely be apt to strip away a tiny part of their flesh at a point.

If you didn’t understand, a strong serpent discards their whole coat entirely at once. You can correct this by providing them a liquid container huge enough to remain in and drizzling constantly.

You have infirmities produced by too substantial moisture. These include breathing, fungous, and contagious diseases, such as flakes decay in serpents. If the moisture balance is too large, it enables germs to propagate more smoothly both on the serpent and in their terrarium.

Breathing viruses are identified by muzzle panting and rhinorrhea. Revisit your pet’s doctor for antimicrobials. Fungous epidemics affect your pet’s coverings or optics and will need antibacterial medication.

Your serpent is likewise feasible to take jaws decay at some period. This transpires when your pet’s immune system is vulnerable for one cause or different, anxiety denoting a popular agent, and is created more dangerous by the incorrect heat or moisture.

Their vulnerable immune system suggests that the common microbes in their muzzle are enabled to go more serious and induce disease. When communicable stomatitis transpires, your pet will squander their hunger, and the interior of their muzzle will become red.

You may further see fluid and surplus sewerage from the lips or snout. Your serpent will require medicines, and for their jaws to be washed, so attend a vet.

Venom and Bites

Rough green snakes aren’t toxic or lethal. If you consider toxic and lethal are the identical traits, they’re not. Poisonous relates to something that you can’t consume because it’s poisonous. A venomous creature, by contradiction, can produce the equivalent brand of venoms, but it won’t remain for you to consume it before annihilating you with them. Rather, they’ll snap you and infuse you instantly.

In the native, it doesn’t eliminate its victim before swallowing it. The serpent will creep up on its victim from rear either in the woods or the shrub before slashing down and consuming its victim entity.

Though having one in confinement is another account. They are infrequently competitive, but inadequate administration and harsh treatment can obtain any serpent protective.

This is particularly the incident in two situations:

  • When you take and hold a grown-up serpent from the native, that isn’t utilized to the continuous vicinity to individuals, grant solely touching.
  • When a confined-bred serpent has been continuously maltreated or inadequately maintained since offspring.

In either event, your rough green snake might go enclosure offensive. This implies that they respond awkwardly whenever you unlock the cover to their terrarium.

This could simply because they assume meal every moment they notice you, which is the problem if you never consumed time with your serpent and enabled it to become employed to you. It could likewise be because when you touch them, you’re too harsh and unexpected for them.


The rough green snake is promptly accessible in the pet business and sadly is one of the most abused serpents in North America. They are accumulated by the numbers each year and comprehensive for approximately $8 in U.S. money, addressing it a very convenient species to pet stores and following to the pet keeper.

 They accentuate effortlessly and frequently decline to grow after the long flight from their environment to the pet owner. In the native, rough green snakes are oftentimes obtained in huge numbers where they invade regions of wetlands such as swamps, lakes, and creeks which adjoin forest territory.

The rough green snakes drive gently and carefully through the creepers and shrubs pursuing its spineless and little amphibian victim and often imitate the flow of twigs swinging in the wind. This action aids the rough green snake to grow one with its environments and allows it to be a more enigmatic hunter but still does not defend it, facing the dangers of the pet business.

Choosing Your Green Snake

It is most suitable to attain a confined-produced green snake as wild-obtained individuals may be worried and have a tricky period adapting to custody. Wild-caught serpents may also be bringing a huge bacteria pack, and you may be spending a previously failing group if they are threatened where you inhabit.

Economic Functions

Rough green snakes are a root of a victim for more massive serpents, fowl, and other little predators. Several identified bacteriae infect rough green snakes. They are tainted infrequently with Cryptosporidium species, which influences the gastrointestinal region, creating epithelial necrosis.

Conservation and Threats

Rough Green Snakes are frequently prevalent in the district and are not preserved all over the largest of it. They are guarded in every part of the nation of Georgia. In 2016, the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Advisory Committee endorsed a Special Concern status for this species within the state, but no confirmed course program has been recorded to date.

Unscientific proof recommends that these serpents may be decreasing in several regions, especially southern Florida. Metropolitan improvement, particularly the modification of crops near sewerage, may decrease their figures. Numerous are hit on streets, and they may be receptive to toxic by insecticides applied to their bug victim. When wearied, they become blue. It is likewise one of the commonly abused pet serpents in North America. They are accumulated by the numbers each time and bulk for approximately eight dollars in U.S. money.

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How To Help

The Endangered and Nongame Species Program would cherish for specimens to record their glimpses of rough green serpents. Note the day, interval, place, and health of the creature and present the data by yielding a Sighting Report Form. The data will be registered within the state’s original inheritance memoranda, generally regarded as Biotics. Environmentalists outline the discoveries, and the consequential diagrams enable nation, division, city, and special interests to recognize significant wildlife territories and preserve them in a variety of methods. This knowledge is applied to manage land-use within the nation and helps in conserving threatened and endangered species home staying in New Jersey.

Additional Facts

  • This serpent takes its title from the rugged-appearing layers that embrace its lush form.
  • It is the solely tree-dwelling serpent in the Bay area.
  • Rough green snakes are passive and do not snap.
  • Albeit rough green snakes commonly dwell in woods, they are likewise extremely competent swimmers.


Are Rough Green Snakes Dangerous?

The rough green snake bears salmonella on its surface. It’s essential to clean your fingers if you ever touch them to evade salmonella. If you do get it, salmonella will supply you food toxic indications like dysentery, nausea, illness, and so on. This regards to active or stagnant serpents, as well as discard skins.

What Do Rough Green Snakes Eat?

Rough green snakes are stringent insectivores. They savor to devour smooth-bodied pests, like worms, moths, caterpillars, and spiders.

They’ll additionally consume invertebrates.

Do Rough Green Snakes Hibernate?

rough green snakes do sleep. It’s induced by the opening of inclement frosty climate, in a method identified as ‘significant idleness.’

How long do they grow?

Most of the females will be more solid and mature larger than their male equivalents. On standard, they will stretch up to 4 feet.

Is the rough green snake poisonous?

The rough green snake is a colubrid serpent located in North America.

What is the distinction between a rough green snake and a smooth green snake?

During which smooth green snakes are admittedly smooth, rough green snakes are described for the inflated hulls seen on the coverings of the serpents’ rear and oblique sides. They have much bigger optics than smooth green snakes, which helps in classification.

How much do rough green snakes cost?

The value of the rough green snake is somewhat inexpensive, at a standard of $8 each a total

Are rough green snakes friendly?

Rough green snakes serve to be slightly worried, fearful creatures that can be slightly challenging to effectively subdued. Though, with perseverance and regular interaction, most Rough green snakes grow insignificantly loyal and tender with their personal connections.

Are green snakes endangered?

Because of their green deception, they are extremely infrequently perceived as they disappear among plants and twigs. The Northern Rough Green snake is not classified as limited, imperiled, or jeopardized at the republic or national level.

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