Rough Green Snake

Opheodrys aestivus



The rough green snake (Opheodrys aestivus) is listed as an endangered species by the PFBC. This species has been known to occur in Pennsylvania from only a few locations in the extreme southwestern and extreme southeastern counties and is among the state’s most elusive herpetofauna (McCoy 1982). The southern edge of Pennsylvania is at the northern edge of the national range of the rough green snake. This species has been reported from Greene County and near the Mason-Dixon Line in Chester and Lancaster Counties (McCoy 1983 and Hulse et al. 2001).

Rough green snake habitat

The rough green snake is a slender light green colored snake with a yellow-green, yellow or cream belly. The dorsal scales are keeled, and thus distinguishes the species from the more common smooth green snake (Opheodrys v. vernalis). The rough green snake’s maximum total length as recorded in Pennsylvania is 731 mm (Hulse et al. 2001). They are an arboreal serpent that is typically found in riparian areas. Their habitat preference is dense, highly branched vines, shrubs and trees near water. In Pennsylvania, all specimens have been collected in vegetation near streams (Hulse et al. 2001). Rough green snakes swim well and are insectivorous.