Ringneck Snake

Photo by Suzanne L. Collins

Common Name: Ringneck Snake

Scientific Name: Diadophis punctatus

Size: Length in Kansas up to 17 7/8 inches

 

Kansas range map for the Ringneck Snake

Range: Found throughout Kansas except the High Plains.

Description: Harmless. Smooth scales. Head and body can be gray, blue-black or grayish-brown. Belly is yellow with black spots. Conspicuous yellow or light orange ring around the neck. Young resemble adults.

Habits: Found under rocks and logs in forests, woodland edge, pastures and rocky glades. Active from March-November. Breeds March to April; lays an average of 4 eggs per clutch that hatch by August or September. Mostly eats earthworms.  Never bites. The most common snake in eastern Kansas.

 

Underside of Ringneck Snake
Photo by Bob Gress

When touched on the head, the ringneck will often react by curling its tail and exposing the brilliant orange-red underside in an attempt to startle possible predators.