Florida Rough Green Snake



Scientific name: Opheodrys aestivus carinatus (GROBMAN 1984)
* Currently accepted name

* scientific names used through time

  • Coluber aestivus – LINNAEUS 1766
  • Leptophis aestivus – BAIRD & GIRARD 1853
  • Leptophis majalis – BAIRD & GIRARD 1853
  • Herpetodryas aestivus – DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854
  • Cyclophis aestivus – COPE 1872
  • Opheodrys aestivus – CONANT 1958
  • Opheodrys aestivus carinatus – GROBMAN 1984

Description: Adult size is 22-32 inches (56-81 cm). The record is 45.4 inches (115.3 cm). A slender bright green snake with a cream to pale yellow belly. The belly color extends onto the chin and lips. (In death the green coloration changes to blue-gray.) There are 17 dorsal scale rows at midbody and the scales are strongly keeled. The pupils are round. Juveniles coloration is similar to adults, but not as brightlly colored. A distinguishing characteristic is the scale in the third row of dorsal scales opposite the seventh belly scale (counted back from the throat) is usually keeled.


A. Top of the head
B. Underside of the head (chin and throat)
C. Front (face view) of the head
D. Side of the head
E. Keeled scales
F. Elongated scales below the tail (subcaudal scales) are typically divided

Range: In Florida, the Florida Rough Green Snake occurs in the central and southern peninsula.

Habitat: Found in mixed hardwood and bottomland forest as well as hardwood hammocks. It is fairly abundant in maritime forest and dunes meadows of Atlantic coast barrier islands. Because of its arboreal habits, it prefers densely leafed trees and shrubs, often at the edges of fields and around ponds.


Comments: HARMLESS (Non Venomous). The Florida Rough Green Snake is arboreal and feeds primarily on insects found on the leaves and stems of trees and shrubs. Its bright green color provides excellent camouflage in vegetation. When disturbed it typically ceases all movement and will sometimes sway to mimic the movement of the surrounding wind-blown foliage. Eggs are laid in mid to late summer under objects in damp areas. The 3-12 hatchlings are 6-8.5 inches (15-21.5 cm) long.

Comparison with other species: There are no other (native) bright green snakes in Florida.