Small snake, dark above with bright yellow to red ring around
neck and yellow to red belly.
Rocky hillsides in open woodlands to dry prairies.
Earthworms mostly but also takes insects and tiny amphibians
Typical adult length: 25-38 cm (10-15 in); Maximum 15.5
inches (Collins & Collins 1993).
History: This small snake normally remains hidden during
the day and emerges to hunt at night. Often found under rocks,
logs or boards in spring and early summer (April to June), but
as summer heats up and the soil dries out, this snake can be
hard to find. Ringnecks are spotty in distribution, in one area
they may reach 300 individuals per acre but in another, apparently
suitable habitat, they can be uncommon.
a ringneck often coils its tail and exposes its bright underside
(see picture). If the attack is pressed it can excrete stinky
stuff from the 'rear end'. At other times a ringneck may simply
play dead when attacked.
(Rossi and Rossi) noticed a very strange behavior from a Ringneck
Snake. They watched as a much larger snake attacked and swallowed
a ringneck. The ringneck was swallowed tail first. At the last
second, just as the ringneck's head disappeared down the larger
snakes mouth, it bit and held on to the inside of the larger
snake's mouth. A nasty surprise, the larger snake was now stuck.
After sixteen hours the larger snake died and the ringneck crawled
out and went on its way.
not dangerous to humans, the Ringneck Snake may be mildly poisonous!
They tend to strike and hold on to tiny vertebrate prey. After
an hour or two the prey is dead or paralyzed. This has led scientists
to speculate that the saliva of the ringneck may be toxic.