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Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network - Réseau Canadien de Conservation des Amphibiens et des Reptiles
Opheodrys vernalis
Smooth Green Snake
Couleuvre Verte
The Smooth Green Snake is bright green with a white belly. Hatchlings can be blue-gray to dark green in colour. It can grow to 66 cm in total length.

Confusing Species
There are no other solid green snakes within the Smooth Green Snake's range in Canada.

The Smooth Green Snake is found from southeastern Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia. It is absent from eastern Manitoba and western Ontario. Outside of Canada, it is limited mainly to the Great Lakes region and east. Some scattered populations occur as far west as New Mexico.

The Smooth Green Snake is found in a variety of moist habitats including wet prairies, meadows, marsh borders, and open woodlands.

Mating occurs in spring or summer. Females lay from 3-11 cylindrical eggs in rotting logs, underground burrows, or even under boards. The eggs hatch in 1-3 weeks, depending upon the temperature. Hatchlings are 10-16 cm in length and grow quickly. They can mature during their second year.

Natural history
The Smooth Green Snake can climb shrubs or tall grasses. Its colour provides an excellent camouflage in grass or low shrubs. It eats a variety of invertebrates including caterpillars, spiders and crickets. Possible predators include other snakes, birds and mammals -- including housecats. It is unclear how long the Smooth Green Snake can live in the wild, but snakes caught as adults have lived for over 5 years in captivity. It hibernates communally underground, often in very large groups, with other species of snakes.

Conservation Concerns
Like many snakes, the Smooth Green Snake, is attracted to the warm surface of roads, particularly in the evening. Many individuals are needlessly killed each year by cars. Nonetheless, it is considered widespread and abundant in both Canada and the USA.

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