Haldea Striatula – Rough Earth Snake

Haldea Striatula - Rough Earth Snake information

The rough earth snake is a 7-10 inch long nonvenomous snake that lives mostly underground. It is native to the Southern and Eastern United States.

Rough Earth Snake Description

The rough earth snake comes in various uniform brown tones. The colors range from grey brown to reddish brown. The snake’s scales are keeled and the face is pointed. The belly is smooth and has a lighter color, usually cream colors.

Rough Earth Snake Haldea striatula small brown snake keeled scales
The rough earth snake. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

At first glance, the rough earth snake can easily be confused with the smooth earth snake. However, the smooth earthsnake usually has small black spots all over the body. Also, the smooth earthsnake has smooth scales instead of keeled scales. Another similar-looking snake is the DeKay’s brown snake. Especially younger specimen of the rough earth snake have several markings on their backs that make them look similar to the DeKay’s snake. However, the snout of the DeKay’s snake is usually rounder and it is generally a larger snake than the rough earth snake.


The rough earthsnake reaches an average size of 7-10 inches (18-25 cm). Adult females are usually slightly larger than males.

Haldea Striatula - Rough Earth Snake information
A great look at the keeled scales of the rough earth snake. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Diet and Habitat

The rough earthsnake lives mostly underground in loose soil or under loose leafs. For that reason, most sightings of the snake occur in autumn, when the ground is covered with leaves and the snake spends less time buried in the ground. The rough earthsnake feeds mostly on small animals that can be found in or on the forest ground. Most commonly, these are earthworms, snails or other arthropods.


The rough earthsnake is not a venomous snake. It is absolutely harmless for humans and can be handled without any problems. Even when it faces any danger, the snake is hesitant to bite as its small teeth will not deter any larger attacker.

Rough earth snake range in the USA

The smooth earth snake can be found in large parts of the Eastern and Southern United States. Its range stretches across the following states: Eastern Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Southern Alabama, Georgia, Northern Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Eastern Oklahoma, Arkansas, Southeastern Kansas, Southern Missouri, Iowa, Southeastern Tennessee, Kentucky and Southeastern Virginia.

Scientific classification of Haldea striatula

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Suborder: Serpentes
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Genus: Haldea
  • Species: Haldea striatula

Until 2013, Haldea striatula was considered part of the genus Virginia and is therefore sometimes still referred to as Virginia striatula.

Haldea Striatula – Rough Earth Snake

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