Are ringneck snakes harmful?

The Ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus) occasionally called the Ring-necked snake is a mildly venomous but harmless colubrid snake found in southeastern Canada and throughout the majority of the usa southward into Central Mexico.

Ringneck snakes possess one of the largest geographic ranges of almost any species of snake found in North America and many subspecies are recognized.

The ringneck snakes inhabit woodlands, ​open hillsides, woods, brushy areas, grassland, chaparral, desert streams and riparian corridors in more humid areas. The preferred habitats are usually moist, and at least and have rocks, leaf litter debris for the snakes to conceal.

The ringneck snake is rather easy to determine for their vibrant underside coloration, that will start off as a bright orange or yellow at the mind and becomes reddish at the tail. These brighter ventral colors also located on the eyebrow and the upper labial scales.

The species common name identifies the different yellow, orange or red band around the neck forming a ring. Some specimens that lack neck ring. Their underside is coated with a number of dark spots, therefore the species epithet punctatus, meaning punctured or perforated.

These comparatively smaller snakes typically reach about 20 inches (50 cm) but they could attain a maximum size around 30 inches (75 cm). The ringneck snake has scales and around students.

They’ve quite a unique defensive posture when threatened they float their tails up to expose their glowing reddish or orangish underside.

Are ringneck snakes poisonous?

The ringneck snakes fall prey to an assortment of different animals like wild hogs, bullfrogs, eastern screech owls, striped skunks, nine-banded armadillos, Virginia opossums. Snakes including the racer, predator snakes, or northern coral snake such as the California kingsnake also eat them.

Although the ring-necked snakes don’t have a true venom gland they do possess a similar arrangement known as the Duvernoy’s gland that produces poisonous saliva. Thus snakes are indeed venomous, their saliva contains a venom, which these types of snakes utilize to assist them to subdue their prey.

They inject their venom during the enlarged and channeled teeth situated in their upper jaws, and that in many subspecies are situated at the back of their mouth. The shipping system isn’t as evolved as a lot of “authentic” venomous snakes such as the pit vipers so that they need to chew the victim to inject the venom.

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Also, their venom evolved in the direction of the snake’s feeding demands they rarely show aggressiveness against larger predators indicating the venom isn’t used as a defensive step. Their venom is known as benign and consequently, ringneck snakes are thought to be harmless.


Even the ringneck snake feeds on a variety of animals such as lizards, frogs, slugs, miniature salamanders, bugs, earthworms, and snakes.

These snakes are constrictors, wrapping their body around the prey and squeezing along with a mild venom found in their saliva to subdue their prey.


Usually the ringneck snake partners in the spring, however, some subspecies may partner in the fall. Ladies use pheromones secreted from their skin. To lay their eggs females usually choose locations using loose, aerated soils or in logs, and it’s typical for this species to use creatures.

Females place 3 to 10 eggs in early summer and following an incubation period of 2 to 5 weeks the eggs hatch in August or even September. The eggs are white with contrasting yellow ends with roughly 1 inch in an elongated silhouette and length.

The younglings measure about 3.5 to 5.5 inches (9 to 14 cm) in length and resemble adult snakes however possess a darker dorsal coloration. Snakes are capable of fending for themselves without the need for any attention after pruning the Allied. When they’re approximately 3 years old, both female and male snakes typically reach their reproductive maturity.


Twist – necked snakes have been listed as”Least Concern” in view of their population size and a number of subpopulations with its very large field of occupancy. The species is found in other protected places and several national parks.

There are not any significant risks oriented into the species as a whole, but some regional populations have been extirpated or are declining because of habitat destruction.


Their genus name “Diadophis” derives from the Greek words”diadem” meaning headband and also “ophios” meaning serpent. The species name “punctatus” comes from the Latin”punctum” which translates as”small hole” or”place”.

The ring-necked snake is the only species within the monotypic genus Diadophis. Today scientists usually recognize the 14 subspecies of ringneck snake not all herpetologists agree with this classification.

Further phylogenetic and taxonomic research are required for this particular species to describe these problems.

Southern ringneck snake (D. p. punctatus – Linnaeus, 1766)

Northern ringneck snake (D. p. edwardsii – Merrem, 1820)

Pacific ringneck snake (D. p. amabilis – Baird & Girard, 1853)

Coral Bellied ringneck snake (D. p. pulchellus Baird & Girard, 1853)

Regal ringneck snake (D. p. regalis – Baird & Girard, 1853)

Prairie ringneck snake (D. p. arnyi – Kennicott, 1859)

Mississippi ringneck snake (D. p. stictogenys Cope, 1860)

San Bernardino ringneck snake (D. p. modestus – Bocourt, 1866)

Dugès ringneck snake (D. p. dugesii – Villada, 1875)

Northwestern ringneck snake (D. p. occidentalis – Blanchard, 1923)

Monterey ringneck snake (D. p. vandenburghii Blanchard, 1923)

San Diego ringneck snake (D. p. similis – Blanchard, 1923)

Todos Santos Island ringneck snake (D. p. anthonyi – Van Denburgh & Slevin, 1942)

Key ringneck snake (D. p. acricus – Paulson, 1966)

1 thought on “Are ringneck snakes harmful?”

  1. We found a young, dead, yellow ringed neck snake in our basement on a sticky trap for mice. Do you think there are more in our basement? He is about 5 inches and thin.


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