Trying to identify a snake you found in the wild can be difficult.
This particular list is to help teach you about the green snakes you can find in Georgia. Most snakes can be some shade of dark green, but only the rough green snake is a bright green normally.
If the snake you saw is not one of these, it may be an escaped pet or zoo animal. This is particularly true after disasters where animals can sneak away in all of the chaos that surrounds a disaster.
If you are not sure about the color, I have a complete list of all the snakes native to georgia here.
1. Rough Green Snake
The rough green snake (Opheodrys aestivus) is the truest green you will find in Georgia.
These snakes are bright green from hatching. They have keeled scales and are green on the top of the body with a lighter belly that can be white to yellow.
These snakes are slender and can reach lengths of up to 32 inches long. They are found virtually everywhere in Georgia. They are only absent in the mountains at higher elevations.
They are arboreal and are mostly found in forest and edge habitats. They can frequently be found near the edges of rivers and wetlands.
Since these snakes eat insects, they spend most of their time hunting for their prey. They are typically diurnal and can be found resting in shrubs or other vegetation at night.
They will head to the ground to hide under cover during cold weather. They will turn blue or black after death, which means that a dead rough green snake may be confused with another species like the black racer.
2. Green Water snake
The green watersnake (Nerodia floridana) is found in a narrow range along the southern border of Georgia.
There is also a small population along the southern part of the border with South Carolina. These snakes are greenish-brown as adults that can be more obvious when they are wet.
These snakes will get to be between 30 and 55 inches long as adults. Their belly is plain white and juveniles can have some bars over the back.
They are typically found in or near bodies of still water that are choked with vegetation. They are diurnal snakes are their diet likely consists of fish and amphibians like other watersnakes.
They can be told apart easily from other snakes by noting that there is a row of scales between the eyes and the lip scales.
3. Eastern Hognose
The Eastern hognose snake (Heterodon platirhinos) is very common in Georgia.
They are thick-bodied snakes that can reach up to 46 inches long. They come in a wide variety of colors, which include green.
The easiest way to tell if your green snake is a hognose is to look at its face. Hognoses have an upturned scale on the nose that helps them burrow.
Behavior is another giveaway. Eastern hognoses are famous for their dramatic defensive displays. They will flatten their heads, coil up, and hiss.
Some animals will coil their tail up as well. They will bluff strike where they will strike with the mouth closed to drive off a potential predator.
They will rarely actually bite. If all of that bluster fails, an Eastern hognose will dramatically play dead. They will open their mouth very wide and stick out the tongue while falling to the side and rolling to expose the belly.
This is normally accompanied by defecating or producing musk to make them a less appealing meal to a predator. They are very dedicated to this act and will roll back over if a human tries to right them.
These are burrowing snakes that prefer woodlands with sandy soil and other habitats that allow them to dig like farmlands and fields.
4. Striped Crayfish Snake
The striped crayfish snake (Regina alleni) is only 14-20 inches long and is only found in southern Georgia. They can be green and have shiny scales and three faint stripes that run down the length of the body.
They have a yellow to orange belly with one row of dark spots. These snakes are specialized predators of hard-shelled crayfish and will only be found near bodies of water that support populations of their prey.
Juveniles will also eat the naiads of dragonflies and shrimp if available. These snakes are rarely seen out of the water and prefer to stay under the water.
5. Glossy Crayfish Snake
The glossy crayfish snake (Regina rigida) is another small snake that prefers eating hard-shelled crayfish. They are 14-24 inches long and can be found over a wider range in southern Georgia than the related striped crayfish snake.
They can be an olive green color and they can also have light stripes on the sides of the body. They have shiny scales and will have two rows of dark spots along the light belly of the animal.
They prefer heavily vegetated bodies of water and consume their hard-shelled prey by trapping it in the coils of the body while the snake consumes it alive starting from the tail.
6. Queen Snake
The queen snake (Regina septemvittata) are also fond of crayfish, but they only eat freshly molted animals that are still soft. They can be olive green in color and will be under 24 inches long.
They have somewhat darker stripes on the back and lighter stripes on the sides. They are found more commonly in the northern half of Georgia.
They prefer fast-moving bodies of water with plenty of rocks. They scour this area for their preferred prey. They are at risk of habitat loss since they are found in such narrow habitats.
We hope this has helped you learn more about the green snakes found in Georgia. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.