Rough Green Snake Opheodrys aestivus
This common species of snake is frequently seen in the Dallas Fort Worth area especially in locations with trees and vegetation. These little green snakes reach a length of ** inches (** cm) and prey upon small insects such as caterpillars, crickets and other suitably sized and soft bodied prey.
Rough green snakes are named thus for a small ridge (keel) that is present on the center of each scale. This provides the slightly textured feeling of the snake. This species is active during the daytime. The dorsal coloration is green and the ventral surface is creamy yellow. The iris is golden. Its coloration helps protect it from other predators which can include other snakes, several species of birds and domestic animals such as cats. Even when moving away from the concealment of foliage this species can be difficult to see as their movements will mimic the movement of a small branch gently swaying in a breeze.
Females can lay as many as ** eggs which hatch in about ** days.
NOTE TO TEACHERS:
This is a very gentle species of snake and would make for an interesting classroom visitor. Because they are easy to frighten it would be best suited as an observational specimen instead of one used for a hands-on experience.
The yellow color of the iris can help reduce glare and increase the efficiency at which this snake finds its insect prey.