Ringneck Snake

Diadophis punctatus

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Family: Colubridae

Ringneck Snake range map

Find out more about ringneck snakes from:


Websites -

Animal Diversity Web


Publications -

Snakes and Lizards of Minnesota  This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. - 72 page identification and information booklet (10.2 MB)

Ringneck Snake fact sheet  This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Minnesota Conservation Volunteer articles


Problem animals -

Living with snakes


Ringneck Snake

The ringneck snake (also known as the ring-necked snake) is a small, dark-colored snake that lives in eastern Minnesota forests. It has a yellowish-orange belly with black markings and a yellow or orange ring around its neck.


General description: The aptly named ringneck has a bright band around its neck. Its back is black or slate-gray and its belly is yellow or orange.

Size: The ringneck snake grows to be 10 to 15 inches long.


Ringneck snakes mate in spring and sometimes in fall. The females lay an average of four eggs in early summer in a nest. The eggs hatch within eight weeks. Young are 4 to 6 inches long. At times, several females lay their eggs in one nest.

Ringneck SnakeFood

Ringneck snakes eat slugs, lizards, salamanders, earthworms, and baby snakes.


Birds of prey, skunks, snakes.

Habitat and range

Ringneck snakes are found in the eastern part of Minnesota along the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. The state is home to two subspecies. The northern ringneck lives in forests of northeastern Minnesota and can be found under logs and stones. The prairie ringneck is found in southeastern Minnesota on the edge of forests, in forest openings, or on rocky bluffs.

Population and management

The ringneck snake has no special status in Minnesota.

Ringneck SnakeFun facts

Ringneck snakes are most active at dusk. In very hot weather they may only come out at night. When approached by predators, they coil their tails, exposing its brightly colored underside.