Facts, Identification & Control

Latin Name

Carphophis vermis


Found throughout the western half of the United States, the western worm snake, while not a federally protected, is a locally protected species in some states. Often elusive in nature, the snake may go unnoticed to the untrained eye. The western worm snake’s smooth, dark purple or black dorsal scales and lighter pink or salmon underbelly allows it to remain unseen among the moist leaf litter or under the loose rocky soil of open woodlands where it makes its home. Reaching a length of only seven to eight inches, the western worm snake looks more like an earthworm than a snake. In fact, the species name for this snake, vermis, translates from Latin to the English word worm.

Behavior, Diet & Habits

These non-venomous snakes are believed to breed in the spring months. Females lay a clutch of one to seven eggs during the early summer months. The eggs hatch in late summer. The western worm snake feeds mostly on worms and other soft-bodied insects. The snake hibernates over the colder winter months in the more northern states.