rough green snake, Ophendrys aestivus

Found in the south-eastern half of the USA and rougher in texture than its smoother northern counterpart, I was charmed by the grace of this gentle tree snake, Ophendrys aestivus , the Rough Green Snake.

Rough Green Snake, head and neck, in its leafy arborial element in Louisiana Non-venomous and preying upon insects and spiders, this Rough Green Snake ( Ophendrys aestivus) delightfully distracted me from the washing up. I probably wouldn’t have seen this slim, elegant tree snake climbing slowly up a branch unless it was about 3 feet from my face.

That’s not because I’m particularly unobservant, it’s rather due to the Rough Green Snake’s unobtrusive motion and superb camouflage. We’ve seen one before, in eastern Texas at Trinity River NWR, on the ground. I opened the kitchen window and it tasted me for a moment with its flickering tongue.

Judging me to be inedible, but the questing zooming motion of my lens to be a possible threat, the snake accelerated smoothly upwards and away from me into the higher branches, showing off the subtle countershading of its pale yellow belly among the leaves. Rough Green Snake , body and tailI enjoyed a better view as it continued its patrol into a nearby willow tree. The Rough Green Snake is the gardener’s friend for sure.

All pictures taken on Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ70 and copyright C.Paxton.

————– addendum

We encountered another Rough Green Snake in mixed woodland by Crawfish Springs on a surprisingly warm and quite windy day, December 17th, 2016. The image copyright C.Paxton, below taken on Sigma SD1 with Sigma 17-50mm lens at 50mm (75mm at 35mm camera equivalent) with settings F9, at 1/20 of a second, ISO 100, supported on a tripod.roughgreensnake