Ring-necked Snake

I photographed this Ring-necked Snake on the same day and location as the Red-bellied Snake I posted. This was on an Arkansas Country Road near my place in the Ouachita Mountains. The Red-bellied Snake and this Ring-necked Snake were my first time photographing these types of snakes.

Ring-necked Snake
Ring-necked Snake

The Ring-necked Snake is a small non-venomous species of snake that is native to North America. They are typically 12-18 inches in length and are characterized by their distinctive ring-like pattern around their neck. They feed on small insects and amphibians and are not considered to be dangerous to humans. Ring-necked Snakes are generally not aggressive and will often coil up and play dead when they feel threatened.

Habitat and Distribution

Ring-necked Snakes are found throughout North America, from southern Canada to Mexico. They prefer moist habitats, such as forests, fields, and wetlands, and are often found near streams, rivers, and lakes. They are also commonly found in suburban and urban areas where they hide under rocks, logs, and leaf litter.

Diet and Hunting Habits

Ring-necked Snakes are opportunistic feeders and eat a variety of prey, including earthworms, slugs, snails, and amphibians such as salamanders and frogs. They are able to swallow their prey whole and have a flexible jaw that allows them to consume larger prey items.

Behavior and Adaptation

Ring-necked Snakes are non-venomous and do not pose a threat to humans. They are shy and reclusive and will often hide or retreat into their burrows when threatened. When threatened, Ring-necked Snakes will also release a foul-smelling musk as a defense mechanism to deter predators.

Ecological Importance

Ring-necked Snakes play an important role in the ecosystem as they help control the populations of insects, slugs, and other small invertebrates. They are also important prey items for many species of birds, mammals, and reptiles, providing a vital source of food in the food chain.


The Ring-necked Snake is a fascinating species that is often misunderstood and feared due to its appearance. However, these small reptiles play an important role in the ecosystem and should be respected and appreciated for their unique characteristics and ecological importance. If you come across a Ring-necked Snake, remember that they are harmless and do not pose a threat to humans. Instead, take the opportunity to observe and learn about this fascinating species.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Lens: Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM


When I approached this snake, it stopped, and I crouched down while hand-holding my camera.

  • Location: Near the Ouachita National Forest (Arkansas)
  • Date & Time Taken: August 26, 2016 (12:50:24 P.M.)
  • Aperture Priority
  • Aperture: f7.1
  • Shutter speed: 1/1600 sec. (as determined by the camera)
  • ISO: 800
  • Metering Mode: Evaluative
  • Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
  • Back-button Focus
  • Single Point Focus
  • Focal Length: 400 mm
  • Processed With Luminar 4

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  1. Red-bellied Snake
  2. Western Pygmy Rattlesnake
  3. Two Watersnakes Eating Same Catfish
  4. Timber Rattlesnake