Smooth Earthsnake

Valeria Biddle Blaney (1828-1900) collected the first specimen in Maryland.
Smooth Earthsnake Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Virginia valeriae
Smooth Earthsnake Physical Characteristics
Brown, Fawn
Smooth Earthsnake Distribition

Smooth planet serpents are small predators that hide in yards, under rocks and particles, and in the ground cover of woodlands.

They’re reclusive and aren’t seen throughout the day, however in the evening when their victim is on the step. Smooth planet serpents are accommodating little serpents that assist maintain the insect population in check. They prevail throughout the southeastern USA and can endure a minimum of some environment adjustments.

Unbelievable Smooth Planet Serpent Details

  • These tiny, fossorial serpents become part of the insect- control staff and maintain the population of snails, slugs, and earthworms from blowing up.
  • They deliver in the summer season to 3- 12 infants that are just around 3- 4 inches long.
  • Smooth planet serpents are usually incorrect for various other tiny serpents like ring- necked serpents and De Kay’s serpents.

Smooth Planet Serpent Scientific Name and Classification

This nonvenomous serpent belongs to the Colubridae family in the Natricidae subfamily. The subfamily consists of several 37 category of extremely typical serpents. European grass snakes and garter snakes. Their scientific name is Virginia valeriae, its certain name of valeriae originated from Valeria Biddle Blaney (1828- 1900), that accumulated the very first sampling.

Kinds Of Smooth Planet Serpents

  • Western planet serpent ( Virginia valeriae elegans) – happens in southerly Indiana via Tennessee and western Kentucky to the Gulf of Mexico, in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Central Texas.
  • Mountain planet serpent ( Virginia valeriae pulchra) – populates the hills of West Virginia, western Maryland, and western Pennsylvania.
  • Eastern planet serpent (Virginia valeriae valeriae) – The outermost eastern of the smooth planet serpents, it happens from New Jacket to Georgia, after that west via Tennessee, southerly Ohio, and north Alabama.

Presently, 3 subspecies, consisting of the choose subspecies, stand amongst herpetologists. That claimed, there’s additionally conversation relating to relocating several right into complete species condition, and some currently think about the mountain planet serpent ( Virginia valeriae pulchra) its very own species and not a subspecies.

Smooth Planet Serpent Appearance

Smooth Earthsnake
These tiny, fossorial serpents become part of the insect- control staff and maintain the population of snails, slugs, and earthworms from blowing up.Mike Wilhelm/Shutterstock. com

Smooth planet serpents are tiny and only procedure regarding 7- 9.8 inches in size. Their pigmentation is differing tones of brownish to light fawn and lighter tinted tummy.

Nonetheless, the summary might not be one hundred percent exact when it comes to grownups. It appears that the initial summary was used a managed sampling. In some cases shades are rinsed in the conservation fluid, providing a rather altered suggestion of the microorganism’s living shades.

According to a post by Charles W. Myers in Herpetologica, released in January 1963, there might be an ontogenic shade change. He observed a female in Missouri that had actually brought to life a number of infants. The grown-up female had a yellow- eco-friendly tummy shade, whereas the infants’ stubborn bellies were grayish- white. He additionally discovered that the newborn serpents were darker brownish on their backs than were grownups; nonetheless, he kept in mind that this can end up being much less evident after their very first losing cycle.

Although some populaces might have somewhat keeled ranges, these serpents, real to their name, have reasonably smooth, shiny ranges. A distinct attribute several have is a tiny black ring around their dark eyes and white under the chin. Along the dorsal side are darker- tinted places; some might additionally have a pale red stripe that runs the size of their body.

Smooth Planet Serpent Habits

For such an usual serpent, smooth planet serpents are remarkably challenging to observe. They’re very reclusive and, initially glimpse, can be misinterpreted for worms themselves. They conceal under rocks and logs, in loosened dirt and garden compost, and under particles around yards.

This accommodating serpent is extremely inconspicuous. They are nighttime and take sanctuary under logs and rocks throughout the day, appearing in the evening to quest. As tiny, nonvenomous serpents, they have couple of defenses versus predators themselves and usually pick trip over battle. One of the most they can do to protect themselves is to musk a regarded risk.

If you discover one and require to move it, be mild due to the fact that it’s a little serpent. Remarkably, serpents are even more fragile than you would certainly assume. They’re all back and ribs, and this species is entirely safe to individuals and pets – unless your pet takes place to be a slug, earthworm, or snail.

Smooth Planet Serpent Environment

Smooth planet serpents prevail, if deceptive, throughout their array in the USA. They’re located from Texas, north to Iowa, eastern to New Jacket, and southern to Florida.

These serpents are fossorial and invest much of their time below ground, either shielding from the sunlight or searching. They, like their victim, favor damp, dark areas with loosened dirt and great deals of ground cover or particles under which to conceal. Smooth planet serpents are usually located under logs, rocks, around compost heap, and various other similar areas.

Smooth Planet Serpent Diet

This species just consumes soft- bodied invertebrates. Earthworms, larvae, snails, and slugs comprise the smooth planet serpent’s diet. They assist maintain insect populaces in check by delighting in these slow-moving- relocating animals.

Smooth Planet Serpent Predators, Threats, Preservation, and Population

Their resistance for environment adjustments and regular victim resources provides a respectable possibility for survival as a species. On a specific basis, these serpents are victim for several animals. Smooth planet serpents are extremely tiny and do not relocate extremely quickly, so they’re very easy victim for animals that can reach their daytime hiding places or capture them out in the evening when they’re searching.

The IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species notes them as a species of least concern. They’re not endangered and have no considerable dangers. Going by the variety of discoveries in their regular array, smooth planet serpents possibly have an instead huge population of greater than 100,000 grown-up people.

Smooth Planet Serpent Reproduction, Children, and Life Expectancy

These serpents more than likely come to be sexually fully grown when they have sufficient physical mass as opposed to by age. Smooth planet snakes friend at some time in the springtime, after that the females bring to life 3- 12 infants in mid to late summer season. Similar to the rough earth snake, they’re extremely reclusive, and there’s really also much less study on smooth planet serpents. Their life expectancy in the wild is a little an enigma, however if their own resembles others, it’s possibly a couple of years, perhaps as several as 7.

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  1. Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Virginia valeriae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T64003A12733555. Accessed on 16 September 2022., Available here:
  2. Anthony, Travis 2019. Herpetological Survey of Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest and Holliday Lake State Park, 30 September, 2018. Catesbeiana 39 (1): 3-9 , Available here:
  3. Charles W. Myers Herpetologica Vol. 18, No. 4 (Jan. 22, 1963), pp. 273-274 (2 pages) Published By: Herpetologists’ League, Available here:

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