I had my first encounter with this very cool species while visiting southern Illinois. It is a small (7 to 10 inches) somewhat heavy-bodied, brown-to-gray snake with smooth scales and a pointed snout.
The Smooth Earth Snake is found in a variety of forested habitats with plenty of ground cover, but is most common in moist deciduous forests and edge habitats. Smooth Earth Snakes mainly live underground and are most often found hiding beneath rocks and logs.
This species feeds primarily on earthworms, but takes other small invertebrates such as insects and snails. It gives birth to to live young, producing as many as 14 offspring in the late summer.
The Smooth Earth Snake is an uncommon secretive serpent with a scattered distribution, so I was glad to finally come across one in the field.