8 Types of Green Snakes in Florida (Pictures)

There are nearly fifty species of snakes found in Florida. Of these, only about seven are poisonous. Some of these snakes are green or greenish in color. Ones like the boa constrictor and the anaconda, are not actually native to Florida but are the descendants of pets that have escaped or been turned loose.

These invasive species pose a threat to local species of snakes that have a harder time competing for food. So we’re focusing more on native species to Florida that are green in this article.

Green Snakes in Florida

Some of the species on this list of green snakes in Florida are completely green, while others are only partially green. But, they all occur in the state of Florida!

1. Common Garter Snake

garter snake
Image by M. Maggs from Pixabay

The common garter snake is a non-poisonous snake found throughout eastern and central North America. It has a dark green body, with a light greenish-yellow belly. It has three stripes running down the entire length of its body. The stripes are usually yellow but can be a variety of colors ranging from white to tan. Blue stripes have also been seen on some snakes.

The common garter snake eats small insects and other small animals, although it will also eat creatures that live in the water.

2. Eastern Ribbon Snake

Eastern Ribbon Snake
Eastern Ribbon Snake Steve Dorand from Pixabay

The eastern ribbon snake is a green and white striped snake that is found throughout the entire state of Florida and on the islands of the Keys. Ribbon snakes have very slender bodies with heads that are not much larger than the body. The eastern ribbon snake can grow up to two feet long.

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Ribbon snakes eat frogs, salamanders, and other amphibians. They hunt their prey by chasing it down and devouring it.

The eastern ribbon snake is sometimes confused with the southern ribbon snake, which can also be found in Florida. Southern ribbon snakes live in bodies of water like pools and swamps, though they also live occasionally in trees.

Neither ribbon snake is poisonous, and both will flee when threatened, rather than attack.

3. Florida Green Water Snake

Florida Green Water Snake | image by Brandon Trentler via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The Florida Green Water Snake is a very common snake, found in ponds, lakes, and rivers throughout the state. Although they are called green snakes, they can also be found in orange or brown varieties. Florida Green Water Snakes can be distinguished from other varieties by having speckles of color on their bodies.

The Florida Green Water Snake is found mainly on the Florida peninsula, with a few found in the panhandle.

When threatened, they escape into the water or flee into other hiding places near the water. They eat mainly fish and amphibians.

4. Mississippi Green Water Snake

Mississippi Green Water Snake | image by Greg Schechter via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The Mississippi Green Water Snake is the least common of the water snakes in Florida, having been found only in western Florida, next to the border with Mississippi.

The Mississippi Green Water Snake can grow up to six feet long. They have markings on the body consisting of alternating light and dark patches.

Like the other water snakes, Mississippi Green Water Snakes eat animals found in and near water, like frogs, toads, and salamanders.

5. Plain Bellied Water Snake

Plain Bellied Water Snake
Plain Bellied Water Snake | Northeast Coastal & Barrier Network via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

The plain-bellied water snake is the third species of green water snake which lives in Florida. As the name suggests, this snake has no markings on its body and is simply dark green.

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Plain-bellied water snakes can grow to be two to four feet long. Like other water snakes, these snakes live near bodies of water, whether rivers, lakes, or ponds.

Plain-bellied water snakes hunt for creatures that live in the water, like frogs and salamanders. They are often eaten by large birds like herons, or by large fish like largemouth bass.

6. Queensnake

Queen snake
Queen snake AdventureOnTheSide.com on Unsplash

The queen snake is a dark olive green snake that is found in the Panhandle area of Florida. They live near water and are able to swim well, spending much of their time in the water.

The queen snake can grow up to two feet long. It tends to live in streams and prefers fast-flowing water and rocks that it can hide in. Queensnakes eat crawdads and other aquatic prey. They are not poisonous.

Like the rough green snake, the scales of the queen snake are keeled, meaning that there is a ridge on each scale that is rough to touch.

7. Eastern Hognose Snake

Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake | image by Peter Paplanus via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The eastern hognose snake is found on mainland Florida, but not on the islands. It is a dark olive-drab color, but individuals have extensive variation in color and can be tan, brown, or gray as well. The hognose snake has a mottled appearance, with patches of color providing camouflage.

Eastern hognose snakes are not poisonous, but when threatened, they imitate poisonous snakes like cobras, flattening their heads and hissing at would-be predators. If this strategy fails, a hognose snake may also play dead and hope that its attacker loses i

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The hognose snake roots in the ground and digs out prey with its large snout. It will also eat any other prey it can catch.

8. Rough Green snake

Rough Green Snake | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

The rough green snake has a bright and vibrant green upper body, and a yellow or off-white lower body. It is found throughout Florida’s mainland and in the Keys. They can grow up to two and a half feet long.

Although rough green snakes are extremely colorful, they spend most of their time in trees, and the bright green color gives them good camouflage against leaves and plant growth.

These snakes are called rough because their scales have “keels,” ridges that project out onto the body and give the snake a rough, rather than a smooth contour.

Rough green snakes eat insects and spiders. They are not poisonous. Instead, rough green snakes hunt during the daytime. They catch their prey and engulf it headfirst,  without necessarily killing it first.

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About Jesse Martin
Enthusiast and pet owner

Jesse grew up with pet reptiles and amphibians and has remained close to them into adulthood. He has experience with boa constrictors, pythons, Argentine horned frogs, bearded dragons, geckos, tortoises, and more. Jesse's daughter currently has a corn snake, her first pet reptile.