Introduction to Rough Green Snakes and Smooth Green Snakes:
In the wild, there is concern about declining populations of these snakes, possibly due to habitat loss and use of pesticides. In fact, in some states one or both of these species is considered threatened or endangered. Keep in mind that taking these snakes from the wild may be illegal depending where you live.
In the pet trade, rough green snakes are seen more commonly than smooth green snakes.
Common Names: these snakes are sometimes called by a variety of other names, such as grass snakes, green whip snakes, garden snakes, vine snakes, and keeled green snakes. This can lead to much confusion (for example the term grass snake is also used for the European grass snake, Natrix natrix). When adopting a snake, it is best to find out the scientific name of your snake so you know exactly what you have.
Smooth green snake: smaller and shorter, usually maximum of about 2 feet
Up to 15 years reported (for rough green snakes), though most don't survive that long; 6-8 years is a more likely expectation.
Temperament and Suitability as Pets:
It is best to find a captive bred green snake if possible, as wild caught specimens may be stressed and have a difficult time adjusting to captivity especially with their shy nature. Wild caught snakes may also be carrying a heavy parasite load. Also keep in mind that taking these snakes from the wild may be illegal.
Furnishing the Tank:
In captivity, it is most practical to feed a diet primarily of crickets, although is is extremely important to make sure the diet is varied. Add items such as grasshoppers, spiders, moths, earthworms as much as possible. Meal worms can be fed, but only occasionally as their tough exoskeletons may post a risk of impaction (pick freshly molted meal worms to reduce the chances of this). Other soft feeder worms, such as wax worms, could also be fed occasionally.
All prey items should be gut loaded (fed a nutritious diet themselves, including a vitamin and mineral supplement) before being offered to green snakes. The Wyvern's Lair suggests gut loading with a commercial reptile food (e.g. iguana, bearded dragon or turtle diet) combined with carrots and collard greens. Dusting the diet with calcium supplement is a good idea too, but can't substitute for proper gut loading as dusting is sometimes not effective at getting the nutrients to the snake.
Notes: don't offer any prey items that are wider than the snake's body. Be sure to put some of your gut loading food into the snake's tank with the insects, to keep them from nibbling on a sleeping snake (putting insects in a wide mouthed, deep container is suggested - this helps to monitor how much is eaten).
Water A shallow dish of water large enough for the snake to climb into for a soak (shallow enough to prevent drowning) should be provided. However, these snakes seem to prefer drinking water droplets off leaves rather than from a bowl, so a daily misting of the greenery is required.