Smooth Green Snake (Liochlorophis vernalis)

Description: A small, smooth scaled bright green snake with a whitish or yellowish belly. Young green snakes are olive, brown, or gray. An occasional adult specimen will retain the juvenile color. Adult length: 12 to 20 inches.

Smooth Green Snake
Photo © Jim Harding

Habitat and Habits: These gentle little snakes are usually found in grassy places where their color makes them difficult to see. They feed on insects, caterpillars, and spiders. They rarely bite when handled, but will smear a captor's hand with a musky anal secretion.

Reproduction: Females lay from 3 to 12 tiny eggs under a rock or other cover in early summer. The young may emerge in a month or less, and reports exist of smooth green snakes retaining eggs in their bodies until hatching.

Range and Status: Smooth green snakes have been found throughout Michigan, but seem to have disappeared from much of the southern Lower Peninsula. Their insect diet may make them vulnerable to the effects of chemical pesticides.

Related Documents
Smooth Green Snake Occurrences Map PDF icon