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Regal Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus regalis)
Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus)
Snakes Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
 
Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus)

General Description: A small, slender snake that is slate-gray above, yellow and red beneath, and has a narrow yellow or orange ring around the neck.

Taxonomy: Colubrid Snakes Family (Colubridae)

Technical Description: Length 8 to 24 in. Body slender. Head black. Dorsal color slate-gray or gray-green. Neck with narrow yellow or orange ring (sometimes absent). Ventral color yellowish, red, or red-orange with small black spots; ventral surface of the tail bright red-orange. Scales smooth. Loreal present.

Diet: Feeds on worms, slugs, frogs, and lizards.

Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus)

Habitat: Usually found in moist areas. In the arid west, this species occurs in mountains near permanent water or in riparian areas in the Mojave Desert Scrub, Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands, and Pine-Fir Forest habitat types (about 2,400 to 9,000 ft).

Range: Widely distributed throughout much of the U.S. except the upper Midwest. This subspecies occurs primarily in eastern Arizona, New Mexico, and south into central Mexico. Disjunct populations occur in isolated mountain ranges in eastern and southern Nevada and western Arizona.

Breeding: One to two clutches of 1 to 10 eggs laid in early summer; often use communal nest.

Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus)

Similar Species: Black-headed snakes (Tantilla sp.) may have light-colored neck rings, but their rings are not red, and the ventral surface is not entirely red with black spots.

Comments: This rear-fangs species, while mildly venomous to its small prey, is thought to be harmless to humans (the mouth is too small to bite). When alarmed, Ringnecks coil their tail and shake it while displaying the red ventral surface.

 
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
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© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 081226

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