Smooth Earthsnake

Virginia valeriae


This is a diminutive species often only encountered under logs or in gardens. They range in a large portion of central and south Mississippi. These snakes are brown or tan or reddish, with smooth or slightly keeled scales (Powell et al., 2016). Much of these snakes’ lives are spent underground foraging on earth worms or other invertebrates. They may be locally abundant but rarely seen outside of cover such as logs or pieces of wood. Rough Earthsnakes often have a slightly darker coloration and rough or keeled scales.

Western Smooth Earthsnake, Madison Co. (IA)

Identifying Traits

  • Brown or light brown, sometimes with small black dots
  • Smooth scales (separates from rough earth snake)

Subspecies Present:

Western Smooth Earthsnake (Virginia valeriae elegans)


Forests and grasslands



Fossorial, often active and foraging underground or beneath cover


Various invertebrates

A pair of Smooth Earthsnakes, Madison Co. (IA)