Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by Alan D. St. John
Photo Copyright Alan D. St. John

The smooth greensnake, Opheodrys vernalis, is patchily distributed throughout the northeastern and western United States, southeastern Canada, and parts of Texas and Mexico. In Utah, the species occurs in the Wasatch, Uinta, Abajo, and La Sal Mountains. The smooth greensnake is uncommon in Utah, and the species is included on the Utah Sensitive Species List.

The smooth greensnake eats terrestrial invertebrates, chiefly insects and spiders. Females of the species lay an average of four to nine eggs in mid- to late summer. Eggs hatch several days to one month after laying. The smooth greensnake prefers moist areas, especially moist grassy areas and meadows where the snake is camouflaged due to its solid green dorsal coloration. Like many other snakes, the species is active during the spring, summer, and fall, but hibernates during the cold winter months.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 336 pp.