Brown ground snake, Brown snake, Ground snake, Little brown snake, Little striped snake, Small brown viper, Small-eyed brown snake, Southern ground snake, Striated viper, Worm snake
The Rough earth snake, is a species of nonvenomous colubrid snake native to the southeastern United States. It has a round pupil, weakly keeled dorsal scales, and usually a divided anal plate. Dorsally, it is brown, gray, or reddish, and essentially has no pattern. Females are a little longer and heavier than males, with relatively shorter tails. Young individuals often have a light band on the neck, which is normally lost as they mature. The belly is tan to whitish and is not sharply defined in color from the back.
Rough earth snakes are found from southern Virginia to northern Florida, west along the Gulf Coast to southern Texas, and north into south-central Missouri and southeastern Kansas. They live in a variety of forested habitats with plenty of ground cover, as well as in many urban areas. These snakes also frequent urban gardens, parks, and vacant lots.
Rough earth snakes are generally not aggressive towards humans and are not harmless if encountered. Although they have teeth, Rough earth snakes normally do not bite. When harassed they remain motionless or try to escape. They will defecate and excrete a foul-smelling musk as a defense mechanism to make themselves less palatable to would-be predators. If necessary, they can be safely picked up by hand and relocated. Rough earth snakes are secretive creatures that generally lead a solitary life. They are fossorial spending most of their time underground and often hide beneath logs, rocks, or ornamental stones, in leaf litter, or in compost piles and gardens. They are typically active at night and at dusk. They are not venomous and do not constrict prey; rather, they swallow prey without subduing it. The pointed snout of Rough earth snakes helps them in burrowing in moist soil where their prey are found.
Rough earth snakes are viviparous and females give birth to 3 to 8 live young in mid-summer. Newborns are about 10 cm (4 inches) in total length and they somewhat resemble the Ring-necked snake with a light-colored neck collar, but they are much drabber and lack a brightly-colored belly.
This species doesn't face major threats at present. However, in some areas of their native range, Rough earth snakes suffer from habitat loss and from the use of pesticides.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Rough earth snake total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.