Green Snake Fact Sheet

Written by steve johnson
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Green Snake Fact Sheet
Green snakes are common. (Grass Snake image by Steve Mutch from

Green snakes---also known as smooth green snakes, as well as grass snakes---are a very calm species of snake that does not possess the intimidating exterior that many snakes possess. Completely harmless, grass snakes have many interesting qualities that set them apart from other snake species.


Green snakes are generally slender in size and range from 14 to 20 inches long, according to Northern State University. Their colour is normally green to yellowish and they have smooth and unridged scales. The underside is normally white, with hints of green or yellow.


Green snakes have a wide distribution throughout North America. They are located in southern Canada, as well as in the north-central parts of the United States. Most snakes live within areas that have shrubs, fields or prairies.

Life Cycle

Grass snakes come out of hibernation during the late spring to early summer months, according to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Some hibernate in groups, while others hibernate by themselves. Females usually lay eggs between June and September. Incubation of the eggs occurs inside the female's body prior to being deposited. The number of eggs laid is normally in the four to six range. Incubation usually lasts up to 30 days, which is a relatively short time period when compared to other species of snakes.


Green snakes feed on insects and spiders. They use their forked tongues to detect surrounding chemicals, which allows them to hunt their prey. Green snakes have poor vision and rely mostly on vibrations to observe their surroundings. The snakes are also capable of swallowing things that are much wider than their body due to the expandable ligaments that are in their jaws.

Human Contact

Since these snakes often live in lawns, they come in contact with humans on a regular basis. They are often very active during the daytime and are rarely aggressive. Although they are relatively calm, they normally will not eat in captivity, making them an unfit pet.

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