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Sightings arranged by: Taxonomy Location Date Scientific Name
Carphophis amoenus — Common Wormsnake
Subspecies I've seen:
C. a. amoenus
C. a. helenae
Carphophis amoenus amoenus — Eastern Wormsnake
I found this small gentle snake under some bark in a dry pine forest. Not only do wormsnakes look like worms, they also eat worms (among other things).
We stopped by Woods Bay State Natural Area for a short while early on a cool April morning, on our way to North Carolina's Outer Banks. It wasn't warm enough for reptiles to be out and about, so I was happy to find this miniscule snake underneath a hunk of bark. This species has a distinctive coral-pink belly, which is particularly prominent on this youngster.
Each of the Eastern Wormsnakes I've come across so far has been a distinctively different color. This one is definitely the wormiest-looking.
This small and fairly nondescript snake probably exists in large numbers, but is seen relatively infrequently because it's usually even further under stuff than other snakes. I found this one beneath a hunk of bark on the forest floor, which was lucky because the weather had been extremely dry, and these guys typically approach the surface only when there has been some recent precipitation.
I originally thought this was the Eastern Smooth Earthsnake (Virginia valeriae valeriae), but was set straight by someone more knowledgeable in the ways of small nondescript eastern U.S. snakes by someone on iNaturalist.
Carphophis amoenus helenae — Midwestern Wormsnake
I had been looking forward to visiting the legendary Snake Road on our slow trip back from Florida to California. We had planned to stay at a nearby primitive campground in the surrounding Shawnee National Forest, but when we arrived in the area we discovered that the road to the campground was blocked with downed tree trunks and such. We decided to have a quick visit in the early evening, then drive to nearby Cape Girardeau to stay overnight, then return the next morning for a proper Snake Road experience.
So with all that setup, here in all its five-inch glory is the first snake I found on Snake Road. (Technically, under a rock just off of Snake Road.) Cute li'l guy.
- Behler, J. L., King, F. W. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians
- Conant, R., Collins, J. T. 1998. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Third Edition, expanded
- Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2017. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, Eighth Edition
- Jensen, J. B., Camp, C. D., Gibbons, W., and Elliott, M. J. 2008. Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia
- Tennant, A. 1997. A Field Guide to Snakes of Florida