Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by William Bosworth
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The ring-necked snake, Diadophis punctatus, occurs throughout much of the United States, southeastern Canada, and most of Mexico. In Utah, the species occurs in the central area of the state, and in some parts of the West Desert. Although the ring-necked snake is moderately distributed in Utah, it is not particularly abundant in the state. Most ring-necked snakes are dark in color with a bright orange or yellow neck band and an orange-red belly. The neck band is missing, however, in some of the ring-necked snakes found in Utah.

The ring-necked snake eats amphibians, lizards, snakes, and invertebrates, including worms. The ring-necked snake is often a communal nester, with each female laying a clutch of one to eighteen eggs in June or July. Eggs are laid underground, under rocks, or under logs, and hatch in about two months. Ring-necked snakes can be found near water in a variety of habitats. The ring-necked snake is a secretive nocturnal species seldom seen by the casual observer.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 336 pp.