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common wormsnake

common wormsnake (Carphophis amoenus) Photo © Brad M. Glorioso

Features and Behaviors


The common wormsnake averages seven and one-half to 11 inches in length. It has a sharp spur on the end of the tail. The back is brown, and the belly is pink. The body has smooth scales. The head is pointed.


The common wormsnake lives in bluffs, rock outcrops, dead trees and moist ground in wooded areas. This snake is almost never found in the open. It is frequently discovered under rocks or boards, in rotting logs or in the soil. It moves far underground in dry weather. A spur on the end of the tail is used as a defense against predators. It may breed in spring or fall. One to six eggs are deposited in soil or under rocks in June or early July. Eggs hatch in August. The common wormsnake eats earthworms and soft-bodied insects. It lives in the southern one-half of the state.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Dipsadidae

Illinois Status: common, native