Other snakes:

Western Hognose Snake

Northern Red-bellied Snake

Plains Garter Snake

Red-sided Garter Snake

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Smooth Green Snake

Smooth Green Snake

What it looks like

Smooth Green Snakes are small to medium sized snakes. In Manitoba most will only be about 30 cm long. Females can grow to over 70 cm. They are bright green with white bellies.

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No other snake in Manitoba looks like a Smooth Green Snake.


Smooth Green Snakes are smooth and green, so their name is no surprise.

Scientific Name

The Smooth Green Snake's scientific name is Opheodrys vernalis. Learn what that means on this page: Scientific Names.

Where it lives

These snakes live in grasslands, marshes and woodlands and prefer moist habitats. They are found in parts of eastern North America and across southern Manitoba. Smooth Green Snakes are most common in areas with sandy soil in the southwest of the province.

Where Smooth Green Snakes live in North America.


These snakes are active during the day. After warming up by basking in the morning they hunt for food in moist habitats. In Manitoba they are active from late April until October. They spend winter underground, below where the frost can reach, in animal burrows or in ant nests.

Green Snake head
A close-up of a Smooth Green Snake.

Food Web

Smooth Green Snakes eat many kinds of soft bodied insects and other small invertebrates. Caterpillars, grasshoppers and insect larvae (grubs) make up most of their diet.

Birds are probably their main predators. Small Smooth Green Snakes could be eaten by large frogs or toads, or by other snakes.

Life Cycle

Mating occurs in spring after the snakes leave their winter dens. Females keep their eggs inside them for a while and bask in the sun to warm them. The eggs are laid later in July or August. Females lay 7 - 10 eggs in shallow nests under some cover. The young hatch by late August or September. Hatchlings are only about 10 cm long. They take a couple of years to mature and can live at least 5 or 6 years.


Smooth Green Snakes may be common in parts of Manitoba, but they are not well studied. In parts of North America there may be as many as 100 per hectare.

Special Things

This little bright green snake may be our most beautiful snake! When they die the green colour turns to blue!

How to Find Smooth Green Snakes

Finding a small green snake in a grassy meadow would be very difficult. The best way to find this snake is to look under logs, boards or other debris, or along trails or roads in the morning while they are basking.

Use by People

People rarely find Smooth Green Snakes. They aren't used by people. Some people might try to keep one as a pet, but it's best to never take them from the wild.

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