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Ring-necked snake

Ring-necked snake (Diadophis punctatus) Photo from National Park Service.

Ring-necked snake (Diadophis punctatus) Photo from National Park Service.

Ring-necked snake (Diadophis punctatus) Photo from the National Park Service.

Ring-necked snakes are nocturnal although they may be seen sunning themselves for warmth on cloudy days. They are only slightly venomous and non-aggressive. They are conspicuous for the red or yellow ring around their neck. Dorsal coloration can vary between brown, black, gray & olive. When threatened, they react by exposing their red/orange posterior underbelly. Ring-necked snakes are often only10-15 inches long but they may grow to 2 feet long. During the day they are found under rocks, logs & leaf litter. They mate in the fall with delayed implantation. Three-five eggs are deposited in loose soil, rotten logs or ground litter in early summer.  The young hatch in late summer or early fall. They prey on small worms, smaller salamanders, frogs & juvenile snakes.