Discover Maryland's Herps

Field Guide to Maryland's Snakes (Order Squamata)

Sub-order Serpentes, Family Colubridae

Eastern Wormsnake
Carphophis a. amoenus

Eastern Worm Snake Adult Photos by Corey Wickliffe

Size

7 - 11 inches. Record - 13 inches.

Appearance

Looks like an earthworm.
Plain brown back and an unmarked pink belly.
The head is slightly flattened and somewhat pointed, and the tip of the tail ends in a sharp spine.
Scales are not keeled.

Eastern Worm Snake Adult Photos by Corey Wickliffe
Eastern Worm Snake Adult Photos courtesy of Corey Wickliffe

Habitats

Any forested habitat with soil loose enough for burrowing. Also found in open fields and lawns.

How to Find

Look under coarse woody debris and within rotting logs, particularly in areas with moist, not wet, soil. Non-venomous. When handled they attempt to push their way between the fingers with their head or tail spine, but they do not bite.

Eastern Worm Snake Habitat Photo by Rebecca Chalmers
Eastern Worm Snake Habitat Photo courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

Distribution in Maryland

Found statewide except for the Allegheny Plateau of western Maryland.

Maryland Distribution map for Eastern Worm Snake

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Maryland Amphibian
and Reptile Atlas Project

"A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"

For monthly newsletters of the Maryland Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project click on Recent Newsletters and scroll down to the MARA Newsletters.

The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.