SMOOTH EARTH SNAKE
Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH
The Smooth Earth Snake has smooth scales on the front part and weakly keeled scales on the rear part of the body, a divided anal scale, six scales on the upper lip and two or more scales bordering the rear edge of the eye. The head, body and tail are gray or brown with no pattern. The belly is white. Adults normally grow to 7-10 inches in length.
Smooth Earth Snakes seem to prefer open sandstone woods, rocky hillsides in moist woodlands, deciduous forests, wooded urban areas, woodland edge situations, open brushy woodlands without a continuous leaf canopy, and abandoned fields. They are frequently found in thick piles of dead leaves, or beneath leaf litter, flat rocks, logs, and other surface debris, most often near forest-edge or on hillsides with sparse tree cover.
Smooth Earth Snakes are protected by the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act and administrative regulations applicable thereto. Any time an eligible project is proposed that will impact the species' preferred habitats within its probable range, the project sponsor must contact the Ecological Services Section, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, 512 SE 25th Ave., Pratt, Kansas 67124-8174. Department personnel can then advise the project sponsor on permit requirements.DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITATS
As defined by Kansas Administrative Regulations, critical habitats include those areas documented as currently supporting self-sustaining population(s) of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife as well as those areas determined by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to be essential for the conservation of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife.
Currently, the following areas are designated critical for Smooth Earth Snakes:
(1) All suitable woodland habitat within Wyandotte, Johnson, Miami, Linn, Leavenworth, and Jefferson counties.