Species group: Insect-Eating Snakes
Other common names: Keeled Green Snake, Green Grass Snake
Scientific name: Opheodrys aestivus
The Rough Green Snake is found from eastern Kansas and Texas to southern New Jersey, down to the Gulf Coast and northeastern Mexico. Its natural habitat is woodlands and moist areas next to a body of water. It is found moving swiftly on the ground, swimming in water, and climbing low vegetation.
Appearance / health:
The Rough Green Snake’s very slim body is leaf-green in color (giving it the ability to “lose” itself among the foliage), with no distinctive markings. Its belly color ranges from white to yellow to yellow-green. It averages 2 to 3 feet in length. The scales are keeled, hence the “rough” reference in its common name.
Behavior / temperament:
The Rough Green Snake is mostly active in the daytime. It is docile and is not particularly afraid of humans. They move fast but can stay very still, hidden among the foliage, when approached. They make good pets because they are very docile and don’t bite.
Rough Green Snakes are best kept in medium-sized vertically oriented woodland-type cages decorated with dense tropical, moisture-loving vegetation that will give the snake some security and much needed humidity. Because the small snakes tend to dehydrate quickly, regular misting is recommended. Substrate should be covered with fallen leaves and dried moss. Good ventilation should be provided because the snakes are sensitive to stale air and drafts. A clean water dish is essential. Day temp: 77-86F; night temp: 59-68F; basking temp: 95F; humidity: 60-70%; lighting: 12-14 hours, partly UV.
Although a favorite in the pet trade, Rough Green Snakes are somewhat difficult to care for. Precise humidity and temperature are required. However, because it feeds on insects rather than rodents, it is preferred by pet keepers who are not comfortable with snakes preying on small mammals.
Unlike most snakes, the Rough Green Snake feeds on insects, spiders, wax worms, and hornworms. Occasionally, it will grab snails and tree frogs. It is not a constrictor; therefore, it swallows its prey alive.
Rough Green Snakes are egg-layers. Females, which lay about 2-14 eggs, sometimes share nests, which could be hidden under a rock, a tree stump, or a patch of mulch. The snakes breed in the spring, and the hatchlings appear in late summer.
beautiful species, coloration, little snake, magnificent snakes
buying crickets, escape artists, Stayd hidden alot, large vivarium, live plants, secure reptile lid
swimming, nonvenomous snake, insectivorous snakes
A lot of trouble for a small snake
I had a rough green snake for a couple of years names Hermes. I was really exciting about find this breed. Green snakes are insectivores (they only eat insects). I found it really fun and interesting to watch my snake hunt and catch crickets. They're also great to watch. They're very active and spend most of the day climbing around branches in the aquarium. Still, Hermes proved to be a lot of work for a very small snake (12 inches, pencil width).
Green snakes require a relatively high maintenance environment. They need a heat lamp that simulates a day and night cycle plus high humidity. The humidity required can make the bedding in the aquarium mold if you don't change it regularly. It also provides a great environment for pests to get into the bedding and multiply.
Green snakes are also sensitive to over feeding. They need to be fed more regularly that constrictors, roughly once a week, but they can eat too much as well. They can eat a large sized cricket easily, but a big meal can cause bowel impaction. Be careful when buying crickets for a green snake and choose crickets that are small. Feed the snake only a few crickets at a time so it doesn't overeat.
Finally, while fun to watch from a distance, my green snake was very shy when handled. He would get very agitated when being picked up even briefly, and he was very quick. It made cage cleaning stressful for both of us because I had to move him to a small aquarium while I cleaned the big one.
In general, green snakes can be very cool pets, but don't be misled by their size and simple nature. They can be a lot of work..
From SJtehFox Jan 30 2014 12:01PM
Rough green snake.
Very hard for me and friends to keep. I woulnt recommend but only to the best of handlers. These are magnificent snakes in the wild. Great in the huckleberry bushes and almost impossible to find. But have had my encounters. These snakes are a beautiful green/yellow(belly) and very docile. Just to much handling causes them to go into "spins". Stayd hidden alot in the folage we gave it and was active just not when it noticed us. hard for us to keep them feed and keep. just not hardy in captivity..
From David R May 30 2009 10:24PM