Field Guide to Maryland's Snakes (Order Squamata)
Sub-order Serpentes, Family Colubridae
Carphophis a. amoenus
7½ - 11 inches. Record - 13¼ inches.
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 courtesy of Corey Wickliffe
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 courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
Distribution in Maryland
Found statewide except for the Allegheny Plateau of western Maryland.
- Discover Maryland's Herps
- Maryland Herp History
- Maryland Herp Checklist
- Survey Techniques, Collecting Ethics, Safety and the Law
- Problems with Buying Frogs and Tadpoles for Wild Release
- Technical Guide: A Key to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Maryland - 86.3 MB pdf file
- Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas (MARA) Project
- Natural Heritage Program
- Wildlife & Heritage Home
"A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"
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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.