Animal-World > Reptiles - Amphibians > Snakes > Rough Green Snake

Rough Green Snake

Family: Colubridae Picture of Rough Green SnakeOpheodrys aestivusPhoto © Animal-World Courtesy David Brough
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iam getting one next week and need more advice about correct setup please  Jill Loughton

   The beautiful Rough Green Snake is not only lovely to look at, but is so very gentle that it is a pleasure to handle!

   The Rough Green Snake is and excellent climbers and very agile, but they are also quite wiggly. They never display a bad temper and rarely if ever, attempt to bite. Despite their pleasant temperment they are a more difficult snake to maintain in captivity, and are suggested for a more advanced snake keeper.

For more Information on keeping Snakes see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Herptile


Geographic Distribution
Opheodrys aestivus
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Data provided by GBIF.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Genus: Opheodrys
  • Species: aestivus

Distribution:    The Rough Green Snakes are found in North America. Specifically they are found in the eastern part of the United States; Connecticut to Florida, the Gulf States, and the Mississippi Valley to Kansas, Illinois and Ohio.

Description:   The Rough Green Snake is slender with keeled scales and a very long tail that tapers sharply to a pointed tip. They can reach up to 28" (71 cm). Void of patterning, this snake's coloring is iridescent leaf green on top with whitish to yellow to yellowish green underneath.

Feeding:   They should be feed live insects once or twice a week. Good insects to feed are crickets and moths. Soft-bodied insect larvae such as waxworms, butterworms, and mealworms are also good choices. Fresh water in a shallow dish should always be available.

Environment:   The rough green snake is an excellent climber and likes an arboreal type setting, so a vertical or semi-vertical tree limb with plant vining is great. The terrarium should be at least a 10"x14"x10". See Basic Reptile and Amphibian Care for more information.

Temperature and Lighting requirements:    They do well in 70° to 80° F with moderate humidity. Lighting requirements are minimal, they do not need full spectrum lighting though it is good for long term maintenance as it helps them feel good. You can use a substrate heating device for basic heating. For additional heat, you can add a full spectrum incandescent daytime bulb and a blacklight bulb or red incandescent bulb for nighttime heating. Be sure you use a thermometer so you don't let the terrarium become overheated!
   For more detailed information see the Basic Reptile and Amphibian Care: Housing.

Breeding/Reproduction:    These snakes lay four to twelve very elongated eggs. They will be deposited under a flat stone or a log, usually at the edge of the woods, where it meets a meadow. The young can be a grayish green to a pale delicate green at first, becoming the beautiful iridescent leaf green as they mature.

Availability:   Though the Rough Green Snake is generally available, they can be difficult to maintain in captivity. This is thought to be because we don't fully understand their natural diet. A variety of foods is probably best.

Author: Clarice Brough, CRS
Lastest Animal Stories on Rough Green Snake


Jill Loughton - 2013-01-31
iam getting one next week and need more advice about correct setup please

  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-02-01
    These snakes like to climb so have planty of branches for them to climb.  There is a variety of substrates that you can use for these snakes.  Make sure to all ways have water available. 

    They do well in 70° to 80° F with moderate humidity. Lighting requirements are minimal, they do not need full spectrum lighting though it is good for long term maintenance as it helps them feel good. You can use a substrate heating device for basic heating. For additional heat, you can add a full spectrum incandescent daytime bulb and a blacklight bulb or red incandescent bulb for nighttime heating. Be sure you use a thermometer so you don't let the terrarium become overheated!
  • Jill Loughton - 2013-02-03
    Thank you.
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noel - 2012-03-19
Can you put more that one together if there not mating?? I wanted to get mine a friend but not sure if they can share the same aquar?

  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-03-20
    you can put like sized ones together. Keep an eye during feeding time.
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Anonymous - 2011-10-12
Snakes are cool!

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donna - 2010-01-17
These little snakes are going to be wild caught, and VERY heavily parasitized--to have a chance of keeping one alive for more than a short time, you will need to have it treated for parasites immediately. If you catch one yourself, this is the very first thing you should do once you have it eating for you--take the snake to a vet for a checkup, along with a fresh fecal sample, and have it deparasitized. Be sure to take it to an experience reptile vet--you don't want someone who will just shoot it up with ivomec and send it home. A proper course of fenbendazole and possibly metronidazole will most likely be what is used.

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