What Kind of Snake Has a Yellow Ring Around Its Neck?

By Naomi Millburn

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Ring-necked snakes (Diadophis punctatus) are small reptiles that come from North America, where they are numerous. Ring-necked snakes have massive geographic scopes, and are seen everywhere from the province of Nova Scotia, Canada to Arizona and Mexico. In line with their name, they indeed have conspicuous rings around their necks.

Neck Ring

Ring-necked snakes' bodies are predominantly darkish in coloration, bar their necks and lower portions. Their necks feature prominent yellow rings. The single rings are occasionally orange or off-white, as well. Some of their rings are continuous, while others are not. Certain subspecies of ring-necked snakes sometimes have extremely subtle rings around their necks. Key ringneck snakes (Diadophis punctatus aricus) often have barely visible rings. Their rings occasionally aren't even visible at all.

Overall Body Coloration and Length

The upper parts of ring-necked snakes' physiques are usually gray. The lower portions, however, are markedly more intense in color, much like the rings around their necks. These portions are usually orange or yellow. Some ring-necked snakes even have reddish-orange elements to their stomachs. It also isn't uncommon for their stomachs to have black specks. Ring-necked snakes frequently curl their tails and display their vivid lower portions in times of predator threats, as "back off" signals. Mature specimens are narrow in form. They usually reach lengths of between 10 and 15 inches.

Ring-Necked Habitat

Ring-necked snakes across the board gravitate to locations with many places that allow them to stay covert and under the radar. Ring-necked snakes rest during the daylight hours, often tucked away under rocks or tree bark. They reside in a broad assortment of settings, including grasslands, wet forests and the borders of marshes. They favor woodsy locales. As nocturnal and clandestine creatures, sightings of them during the day are highly uncommon. They are busiest at nightfall.

Prey and Predators

When ring-necked snakes eat, they focus on reptiles and amphibians. They consume lots of frogs, tiny salamanders and lizards. They also regularly dine on youthful snakes, albeit of different species. Earthworms, slugs and tiny insects all frequently pop up on their menus, too. Their saliva contains a mild poison that they employ to stop their prey from moving. Despite their venomous factor, they're not hazardous to people. Although ring-necked snakes are predators, they have a few of their own, too. Some of their biggest predator concerns are other snakes, bullfrogs, possums, feral pigs, armadillos, shrews, raptors and skunks. Their snake predators include king snakes and coral snakes alike.

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