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Opheodrys aestivusPCCP20030524-0823B.jpg
Opheodrys aestivus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Opheodrys
Fitzinger, 1843

Anguis, Chlorosoma, Coluber, Contia, Cyclophis, Entechinus, Eurypholis, Herpetodryas, Leptophis, Liopeltis, Natrix, Phyllophilophis,[1] Liochlorophis

Green snake at San Antonio Zoo in San Antonio, Texas

Opheodrys is a genus of small to medium-sized non-venomous colubrid snakes commonly referred to as green snakes. In North America the genus consists of two distinct species. As their common names imply, the Rough Green Snake has keeled dorsal scales, whereas the Smooth Green Snake has smooth dorsal scales.


Species removed from the genus[edit]

The genus Opheodrys at one time included two Asian species: O. herminae, which is endemic to Japan, and O. major, which is endemic to Central/South China, Taiwan, N. Vietnam, and Laos. These were removed from the genus by Cundall in 1981[2]

The following subspecies of Opheodrys are no longer recognized:[4]

Geographic range[edit]

Green snakes are found throughout the United States, southern Canada, northern Mexico, Japan, China, and Southeast Asia.


Green snakes are so named because they are typically solid green in color dorsally, with a cream-colored or yellow underside. They are thin-bodied snakes that rarely exceed 90 cm (around 36 inches) in length. They have large eyes and blunt shaped heads.


Green snakes are often found in dense, low lying vegetation near a permanent water source. They have been known to follow human activity. They rely on their color for camouflage and will usually attempt to escape if threatened.


Their primary diet is soft-bodied arthropods, including crickets, spiders, moths, butterflies, and grasshoppers.


Green snakes are oviparous.


  1. ^ Wright, A.H., and A.A. Wright. 1957. Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. Comstock. Ithaca and London. 1105 pp. (in 2 volumes) (Genus Opheodrys, pp. 551-564, Map 43., Figures 164-166.)
  2. ^ "CNAH". 
  3. ^ The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
  4. ^ "ITIS". 

Further reading[edit]

  • Fitzinger, L. 1843. Systema Reptilium, Fasciculus Primus, Amblyglossae. Braumüller & Seidel. Vienna. 106 pp. (Opheodrys, p. 26.)

External links[edit]