Northern Ring-necked Snake

Scientific Name: Diadophis punctatus edwardsii
Size: 12-15 inches (25.4-38 cm) in length
Status: Abundant

Rocky areas, damp hardwood forest, near streams, old fields, rocky hills, grassy fields. May be found under rocks, logs, bark, or leaf litter.

Slender, small to medium size species with small smooth scales. The species gets its name from the orange colored ring around the neck. This ring is usually 1.5-2 scales in width and is bordered by black on each side. The upper body and head are dark gray, blue-gray or olive brown. The belly is bright orange or yellow. Young are similar to adults.

Adult Coloration:
  • The dorsal is dark gray, blue-gray or olive brown .
  • The ventral is bright orange or yellow. Sometimes fading from orange to yellow.
  • The neck has a bright orange or yellow ring/band.
  • The dorsal of the head is usually the same as dorsal of the body or darker gray/black.
Adult Characteristics:
  • Slender, small to medium species
  • Orange/Reddish to yellow neck ring bordered by black.
  • Ring is 1.5 – 2 scales wide.
  • A few supralabials may have a pale yellow coloration.
  • Smooth scales
  • Belly is usually unmarked but may have dots running the length of the belly.
  • Young are usually darker than adults.
Scale Count:
  • 15 scale rows at midbody
  • 13-17 scale rows at anterior
  • 13-15 scale rows at posterior
  • 126-238 ventral scales
  • 30-79 subcaudals | 2 rows of subcaudals
  • 2 nasal scales
  • 1 loreal scale
  • 2 preocular scales
  • 2 postocular scales
  • 1+1 temporal scales
  • 7-8 supralabials
  • 7-8 infralabials
  • Anal plate is divided

Juvenile Gallery:

May be Confused With:
  • Hulse, C. and McCoy C. J. and Ellen Censky ,1998. Amphibians and Reptiles of Pennsylvania and the Northeast. pp.
  • Ernst, Carl H. and Ernst, Evelyn M. ,2003. Snakes of the United States and Canada. pp.
  • Kyle Loucks
  • Billy Brown
  • Bob Hamilton
  • Wayne Fidler
  • Sebastian Harris
  • M. Anne Esbenshade
  • Jason Poston
  • Andy Weber

Heads up!

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