smooth greensnake

(Opheodrys vernalis)

Conservation Status
smooth greensnake
Photo by Jeff LeClere
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern


N5 - Secure

S4 - Apparently Secure


not listed

Species in Greatest Conservation Need


Adults can be from 12 to 24 in length, though they are usually no more than 20 long. The scales are smooth, not keeled.




14 to 20


Similar Species


This is the only bright green snake found in Minnesota.


Grassy areas: meadows, prairies, savannas, and woodland edges








Unknown, but presumed 4 to 10 years


Life Cycle






Mostly soft-bodies insects, especially grasshoppers, crickets, and caterpillars, but also grubs, worms, and spiders.


Distribution Map



4, 14, 24, 29, 30, 74, 76, 78.




Widespread in Minnesota but in scattered populations

  Class Reptilia (reptiles)  
  Superorder Lepidosauria  
  Order Squamata (snakes and lizards)  
  Suborder Serpentes (snakes)  
  Infraorder Alethinophidia  
  Superfamily Colubroidea  


Colubridae (colubrid snakes)  




Opheodrys (green snakes)  

This species was formerly classified as Opheodrys vernalis and contained three subspecies. The genus Opheodrys contained only two species. A study of the genus by Oldham and Smith in 1991 found significant categorical differences between the two species that suggest divergent evolution. The author separated this species into its own genus, Liochlorophis. Crother in 2000 rejected the split. An analysis of the available evidence by Walley in 2003 supported the split. The same analysis rejected recognition of the three subspecies. Most print and online sources continue to refer to this species by its former classification, and consider Liochlorophis vernalis a synonym. The use of the genus Liochlorophis, though appropriate, has fallen out of usage.


Subordinate Taxa






Liochlorophis vernalis


Common Names


grass snake

smooth green snake

smooth greensnake








Visitor Photos

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Jeff LeClere

    smooth greensnake      

Keith Granby


seen this little snake crossing the driveway

    smooth greensnake      





Smooth Green Snake
Nick Scobel
  Smooth Green Snake  

Opheodrys vernalis

Smooth Greensnake (Opheodrys vernalis)
Mike Day
  Smooth Greensnake (Opheodrys vernalis)  
Opheodrys vernalis
Todd Pierson
  Opheodrys vernalis  

Smooth Greensnake




Visitor Videos

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Dan W. Andree

  "Smooth Green Snake" A quick look
Nov 2, 2023

I was out on a prairie area and noticed a movement in the grass off to the right side of me. I looked and a green snake was down in the grasses. A hard angle I had to twist around slowly and stand twisted to film it for a short time before it quickly moved out of sight. The snake wasn't very big maybe around 15-18 inches in length.

Other Videos
  Western Smooth Green Snake (Colubridae: Opheodrys vernalis blanchardi) Locomotion
Carl Barrentine

Published on Jul 22, 2012

Photographed at Fort Mandan, Washburn, North Dakota (20 July 2012).

  Smooth Green Snake head start
Daily Reptile News

Published on Aug 31, 2012

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The Reptivlog

  Snakes of PA: Smooth green snake -

Uploaded on Nov 25, 2008

Outdoors reporter Tom Venesky and naturalist Rick Koval introduce viewers to the smooth green snake, snake number seven in "Snakes of Luzerne County." n snake. For more videos, visit

  Eastern Smooth Green Snake

Uploaded on Oct 12, 2011

Found quite a few of these awesome little snakes in the yard this summer.




Visitor Sightings

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Location: Lake Bronson State Park

We saw a smooth green snake in Lake Bronson State Park’s Two Rivers Campground on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. 

  Sarah and Claire Fritsch

Location: Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge drive


  Keith Granby

Location: Cass County

seen this little snake crossing the driveway

smooth greensnake

  Jeff LeClere

Location: Pope County

smooth greensnake







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