With the passing of time our once-common rough green snake has gradually begun to disappear from the scene. In many areas the expanding human population has crowded out much of the greenery through which this arboreal species happily inhabits; road kill is another factor contributing to its reduction in numbers.
Those who study snakes are amazed how this green snake can rapidly slither from branch to branch among shrubs, accounting for its being the only arboreal (tree dwelling) snake species in Virginia. On close examination this green snake has keeled scales; that is, it has small, faint longitudinal lines dividing each individual scale. Its distribution is generally throughout Virginia. The longest specimen has been recorded as being between 22-40 in. (56-102 cm.).
Our specimen was sighted crossing Whittle Street in Chatham, and it was allowed to continue on its way in search for insects and related varmints.
A fantabulous bit of nature lore is that when green snakes are killed on roads their crushed bodies turn bluish.
(See also other snakes.)
Copyright © 2005 William T. Hathaway.