Eastern Smooth Earth Snake is a non-venomous Ohio snake


Although rare over much of its known range, the eastern smooth earth snake is quite often found locally. However in Ohio, it occurs only in the southern quarter of the state, primarily in the vast forested areas of the Shawnee and Pike state forests.

While similar to the brown snake, the eastern smooth earth snake lacks the pattern of the brown snake and is much more stout-bodied. It is a small (7 to 10 inches), plain gray or brownish snake with a plain white or yellowish belly. Many are marked with a number of small black dots on the back. The distinctly small head and lack of distinctive body markings are good identifiers.


The eastern smooth earth snake primarily feeds on earthworms, but will also eat other small invertebrates such as insects and snails.

Distribution And Habitat

This species prefers damp, deciduous forests, wooded residential areas, and moist, rocky hillsides. Like the worm snake, this reptile is very secretive and spends most of its time hiding beneath flat stones and similar objects.


Smooth earth snakes mate soon after emerging from hibernation in the spring. They will typically have 7 to 10 young which are born in late summer. They are 3 to 4.5 inches at birth. There is no parental care involved after they are born.


Since the eastern smooth earth snake lacks sufficient defense mechanisms against larger animals, the snake is generally not aggressive towards humans and is quite harmless if encountered. While it does have teeth, the size of the mouth and teeth make any strikes against humans superficial at worst.

It may defecate as a defense mechanism to make itself less delicious to predators.


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