Ring-necked Snake

Scientific Name
Diadophis punctatus
Also Known As
Ringneck Snake
Range
All of Florida
Diet
Salamanders, Worms, Slugs
Life Expectancy
3 - 5 Years
The Ring-necked Snake

Photo 205896553 © Isaac Lord, CC BY-NC

Corn Snake conservation status - Least Concern

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This Snake is Not Venomous

The Ring-necked Snake in Central Florida

The ring-necked snake (Diadophis punctatus) is a small, harmless colubrid species found throughout central Florida. This nonvenomous snake is named for its distinctive yellow or orange neck band. Ring-necked snakes are secretive, nocturnal snakes that thrive in a variety of habitats.

This guide covers identification tips, biology, behavior, ideal habitat conditions, potential health risks, and prevention methods for ring-necked snakes in central Florida.

Ring-necked Snake Subspecies in the Area

Southern Ringneck Snake

The Southern ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus ssp. punctatus) is a subspecies found throughout Florida. Genetic evidence shows they diverged from northern relatives long ago. They have distinct red or orange belly coloration unlike yellow bellies of other subspecies. Southern ringnecks also have divided anal plate scales and grow longer, up to 20 inches. Living in pine forests and scrub, their traits are likely habitat adaptations.

Habitat loss has greatly reduced their limited range. Calling them a distinct subspecies emphasizes the need for habitat protection. Preserving peninsula scrub is essential for the Southern ringneck.

Appearance and Identification

Ring-necked snakes can be identified by the following characteristics

Adult Eastern Coachwhip

Photo 283560697 © nickolascook, CC BY-NC

Adult Ring-necked Snake

  • Size: Adults average 10-15 inches (25-38 cm) in total length. The record length is 20 inches (51 cm).
  • Coloration: