The eastern worm snake has a pale-brown, smooth-scaled body and light pink belly. Juveniles display the same colors but in darker shades. The eastern worm snake’s head is not distinguishable from the body, and it has a slightly tapered but blunt shape. The tail is small and tapers to a pointed end to help it dig in the soil.


The eastern worm snake feeds primarily on earthworms found burrowing beneath leaf litter and logs. When unavailable, these snakes will also eat slugs, spiders, snails and caterpillars by tracking their scent and swallowing them whole. Due to their small mouths, their diet is limited to elongated species.


These small snakes fall prey to birds, large snakes and lizards, and small mammals such as opossums, foxes, toads, cats and skunks. To protect themselves from threats, eastern worm snakes may flee, burrow under leaf litter and soil or camouflage into their surroundings.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

The eastern worm snakes begin mating season in late spring from April to June. Come mid-July, females will scope out depressions under rocks and rotting logs to safely lay two to eight eggs. Until the eggs hatch in late August, females will spend 75% of their time guarding them from predators. Hatchlings will take 3 years to sexually mature and begin their own breeding cycles. Eastern worm snakes are known to live about 4 to 5 years.

Did You Know?

  • Eastern worm snakes are also referred to as blind snakes, thunder snakes, milk snakes, eastern twig snakes and cricket snakes.

  • These snakes' eyes get smaller during fetus development and ultimately hatch with zero visibility.

  • Eastern worm snakes are often mistaken for earthworms due to their small size and pale-brown color.

  • If handled, they emit a bad-smelling musk.

  • To avoid drying out, these snakes will remain hidden beneath moist soil throughout most of the summer months.

  • The eastern worm snake is one of two subspecies of worm snake; the other being the western worm snake (Carphophis vermis), found west of the Mississippi River.

Sources and Additional Information