Ring-necked Snake

Ring-necked Snakes are relatively small snakes. The body of the Ring-necked Snake can be a variety of solid colors such as olive, smoky black, blue-grey, or brown. The belly is red or yellow-orange, and there is a distinct ring around the neck that could be yellow, orange, or red. However, not all populations have the distinct ring. Occasionally, this ring will be faded or only partially visible.
Diadophis punctatus
6-10 Years
  • Priority Species
  • Unprotected
Least Concern
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

The Ring-necked Snake is found in forests, woodlands, grassland, and riparian areas of arid regions. They do prefer areas that are seasonally wet at the very least. These snakes can be found taking cover under the bark of dead trees, under rocks, and on rocky hillsides. In Nevada, they are found in the southeastern part of the state.

  • Mojave desert
  • Springs and springbrooks
  • Warm desert riparian


  • Habitat Degradation
  • Habitat Loss

Natural History

The Ring-necked Snake eats earthworms, slugs, small salamanders, frogs, lizards, snakes, and various other small invertebrates. These snakes subdue their prey by constriction. Ring-necked Snakes are primarily nocturnal, though you could see one during the day basking in the sun potentially.
They are secretive and not usually aggressive. They are also a social species, and sometimes form communities with six or more other snakes in the same habitat. The Ring-necked Snake, being a smaller snake, has may potential predators including other snakes, small mammals, birds of prey, and even large spiders and centipedes have been known to prey on the young.

Fun Facts

Ring-necked Snakes do not bite when caught but will release foul-smelling feces and musk from anal glands. Exaggerated tail coiling, a defensive behavior that detracts a potential predator away from the head.