Western Smooth Earthsnake (Western Smooth Earth Snake)

Virginia valeriae elegans
Family: 
Colubridae (nonvenomous snakes) in the order Squamata (lizards and snakes)
Description: 

A small snake with a cone-shaped head, this snake generally is gray to light brown or reddish-brown. It has no distinct markings. The belly is plain white or cream-colored.

The western smooth earthsnake is a close relative of the rough earthsnake and is extremely similar in appearance. Western smooth earthsnakes have relatively smooth scales along the back, six labial scales along the upper lip and two scales between the nostrils. Rough earthsnakes have keeled scales along the back (which make them feel rough), five labial scales along the upper lip and a single scale between the nostrils.

Size: 
Length ranges from 7 to 10 inches (18-25 cm).
Habitat and conservation: 
This nondescript little snake is a woodland species and usually remains hidden under rocks or logs or in leaf litter.
Foods: 
It feeds chiefly on earthworms.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Statewide except for the northwestern corner.
Shortened URL
http://mdc.mo.gov/node/6623