Ringneck Snake

The Basics About the Ringneck Snake

If you have ever seen a Ringneck snake outside of a zoo, then consider yourself in the minority. It is not that these small snakes are rare. They are, in fact, quite common. But because they most often live in the woods, the Ringneck snake tends to spend most of its time hidden either underground or under the cover of leaves or rocks. Below are some facts about these very abundant, yet seldom seen slithery creatures.

What They Look Like

As mentioned earlier, Ringneck snakes are small. They have slim bodies and only reach a length of between ten and fifteen inches.  The snakes are usually gray in color and, in keeping with their name, have a colored ring around the neck. There are subspecies of the Ringneck snake that are black or tan in color and still bear the telltale ring around the neck. Females tend to be a bit larger than males, but the males have tails that are slightly longer tails.

Where They Live

While Ringneck snakes prefer to live in the woods, they can make themselves at home in almost any kind of terrain. They have a huge range geographically and can be found in several states and in some parts of Canada.

What They Do

It was already mentioned that Ringneck snakes spend most of their time hidden and out of sight. However, they do occasionally venture out during the day (most of the time they only come out at night in order to avoid predators) and may be seen out in the open.

Because there are so many of these snakes, they are a vitally important part of the food chain. While they cannot do any harm to humans, this snake does have venom which is used to take control of their prey.

Ringneck snakes eat a variety of food including frogs, lizards and even other smaller snakes. Earthworms are another favorite.

Baby Ringneck Snakes

After mating in the fall, female Ringneck snakes typically lay an average of four or five eggs. When the eggs hatch, tiny miniature versions of the adult snakes – including ring around the neck - appear.


Some people do keep Ringneck snakes as pets. If you want a pet that is going to interact with you and move about during the day, this is not the snake for you. Just as they are in the wild, when these snakes are kept as pets they are rather reclusive.

If you do choose to keep a Ringneck snake as a pet, you will need to provide an aquarium to serve as a habitat for the snake. You will also need to know what to feed the snake. While, as mentioned above, they eat a variety of food in the wild, they can do quite nicely on earthworms when kept as pets.

While the amount of food needed will vary by snake, a good average is to feed around three worms per week.

Ringneck snakes are best left in the wild. It is there they do their most important work of doing their part for the food chain.