Species in the genus Calamaria share the following characteristics. The eight to 11 maxillary teeth are subequal; the anterior mandibular teeth are somewhat longer than the posterior ones. The head is not distinct from neck; the eye is small, with a round pupil; the nostril is pierced in a minute nasal scale. No loreal, internasal, or temporal scales are present; the preocular can be present or absent; the parietals contact the labials. The body is cylindrical, with smooth dorsal scales, without apical pits, in 13 rows. The tail is short; the subcaudals are paired.