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Northern Ring-necked Snake

Northern Ring-necked Snake
Diadophis punctatus edwardsii

northern ring-necked snakeDescription

A small black or gray, shiny-scaled snake with a yellow ring around its neck. Michigan ring-necks have a plain yellow belly, sometimes with a few black dots down the midline.

Adult Length:

10 to 24 inches.

Habitat and Habits

Ring-necked Snakes live in moist woodlands, usually staying hidden under logs, bark, or other objects. They feed on earthworms, salamanders, and smaller snakes.


Females lay from 1 to 7 eggs in rotting wood or under bark or flat rocks, usually in June. Hatching occurs in late summer.

Range and Status

Ring-necked Snakes have been recorded throughout Michigan, but are generally rare and local. They appear to be most common on some of the larger islands in Lake Michigan. Beyond Michigan, Ring-necked Snakes are found throughout most of the United States. They can be common in parts of the Eastern and Southern US.


James Harding
MSU Museum
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 353-7978