Ringneck snake – Species Profile, Facts And Care Guide

Located in eastern Canada, most of the eastern United States and Mexico, the Ringneck snake is common. Ringneck snakes are mostly considered non-venomous though it has a very small amount of venom and has rear-facing fangs. But this species isn’t dangerous at all.

The ringneck snake has several subspecies, but apart from their geographic location, they behave similarly. In addition to their secretive nature, ringneck snakes typically live in groups.

Ringneck snakes are also known as northern ringneck snakes and ring-necked snakes.

Where You Can Find Ringneck Snakes

Ringneck snakes are common reptiles that can be found throughout North America. North America’s snakes are found in Canada, Central America, and Eastern North America. The birds’ habitat extends across the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario, all the way to southern Mexico.

In the United States and Canada, ringneck snakes are primarily found along the eastern seaboard, but once they reach Mexico, they are more common along the pacific coast.

If You Want One, Here’s Where To Look

Ringneck snakes prefer hidden habitats. Grass, logs, crevices, and leaf piles can also be made of this material.

When it’s warm outside, snakes usually hibernate underground. Additionally, it prefers wet shallow soil over which it can glide without much effort.

Flipping flat rocks over will help you find one. They are often found hidden under rocks. Snakes are secretive and nocturnal. Because of its many predators, the snake has a hard time roaming during the day.

Ringneck snakes inhabit a variety of habitats.

The plant prefers moist, cooler conditions in the North. It likes tall grasses and forests in the south.

Under rocks, loose stones, and piles of dead leaves, the western and northern subspecies of the species prefer to hide. Under the rocky hillsides and ravines of the open woodlands, snakes live.

It prefers wet habitats such as swamps, drains, marshes, and riparian woodlands.

Ringneck snakes are primarily terrestrial, although they are capable of climbing small trees and shrubs.

Color, Size, And Attributes

Ringneck snakes vary greatly in color among subspecies.

The northern ringneck snake is usually brown, gray, or dark blue, whereas the southern ringneck snake can vary from gray to green.

All snakes are solidly colored except for a gold ring around the neck, which is why they are called ringneck snakes.

There may be a solid white, red, or yellow band on this ring, which is at the junction of the head and the neck.

Ringnake snakes might lose their band as they mature. Most snakes have a circumferential ring, but some have partial rings.

It usually has a yellowish-orange undersurface, although some subspecies in the southern USA and Mexico may have an orange-red undersurface

There are also irregular black spots on the undersurface of the shell, which can be used to identify the species.

The eastern species have 15 scale rows while the western species have 17. Snakes have smooth, divided anal plates and smooth scales. Their mouths are relatively small, and their eyes are round.

Juvenile ringneck snakes tend to be darker than adult snakes, and their skin is velvety because their scales have not yet developed.

That would be a common ringneck snake. The US and Canada are filled with these snakes, so you will likely encounter them at least once.

Ringneck Snake pet Lifespan

In the wild, ringneck snakes live for about 20 years. Despite this, captivity does not seem to work for this species. Keeping a ringneck snake as a pet usually results in her living just 5-6 years.

It rarely grows more than 13-18 inches (30-45 cm), though longer species have been reported.

In the first year, growth is the fastest.

The average size of a ringneck snake pet is 11 inches (29 cm) after the first 12 months, and they grow considerably less after that.

A snake’s full body length will be reached after its fourth or fifth year.

Females grow a few centimeters longer after becoming sexually mature than males in early development, as males have a faster rate of growth and maybe larger.

Are Ringneck Snakes Venomous?

The venom of the ringneck snake is not very potent, but it is available in small amounts.

Additionally, the small amount of toxins will not harm larger predators.

In addition, the fangs are rearward facing, making venom injection during attacks rare. The main purpose of this drug is to sedate small children during ingestion.

According to experts, the snake is not venomous. As a result, handling the snake is not dangerous.

Reasons To Choose Ringneck  Snake As Pet

Two of the reasons the snake is popular as a pet are its docility and (sort of) non-venomous nature.

It can be difficult to feed the snakes, as they are easy to maintain. There are times when it is difficult to find small foods such as lizards and amphibians.

In addition, because these snakes are social, it is important to get several of them so that the snake will thrive

The ringneck snake, in contrast to many other snakes, has a relatively short lifespan in captivity; most only live for 5-6 years.

Due to their abundance in the wild, these snakes are often caught and kept as pets.

We strongly discourage you from doing so. The wild snake generally isn’t going to do well in captivity. Snakes of this species are not the best pets.

General Behavior

Despite its size, the ringneck snake pet is a docile and nonaggressive reptile. Ringneck snakes are nocturnal and appear at night.

A ringneck snake pet is different from many other snake species in that it lives in large colonies often numbering 100 or more individuals.Snakes usually share a den with 6-10 others.

Snakes such as the ringneck are nocturnal in most cases. During daylight, however, snakes usually hide under rocks, basking in the early morning sun.

Snakes of this species are known for repeatedly returning to the same den sites. Despite its small size and lack of venom, the ringneck snake will retreat when threatened.

The ringneck snake coils its tail when threatened and elevates it towards the intruder. Observations of this behavior are only observed in ringnecks with an orange-red posterior.

Intruders are supposed to be warned by the red coloration. Meanwhile, western ringnecks often act as if they are dead.

A ringneck snake pet communicates with another by using body gestures, rubbing its head, and secreting pheromones. Females are usually rubbed on by males during mating season.

Snakes see the world around them with the help of their senses of sight, smell, and touch. The Ringneck snake is heterothermic, which means its body temperature varies based on its environment.

Housing And Temperature

Proper cage care is the first step to caring for ringneck snakes. The cage should have a mesh top to prevent the snake from escaping. Since these snakes like to hide in hollowed logs and caves, they need plenty of hiding spots to avoid feeling stressed. You should place 3 inches of potting soil, sand, and peat moss in the cage to encourage the snake to burrow and hide, and mist the bedding every other day to ensure a moist environment.

For most species, keep the terrarium at a comfortable temperature during the day of 70-75 degrees and a comfortable temperature at night of 65-70 degrees. There might be some subspecies in warmer climates, such as those from Mexico, that prefer slightly warmer temperatures, so consider the snake’s native habitat when setting the temperature.

Defending Mechanisms

When feeling threatened, this species releases foul odors. These snakes smell pretty bad, which is surprising considering how small they are.

As a pet, one of these is a definite downside. No one wants a smelly roommate. Ringneck Snake Diet and Eating Habits. Ringneck snakes are strictly carnivorous.

Reptiles, lizards, earthworms, insects, and other snakes of small size comprise most of the diet of the snake.

Red-backed salamanders are the primary food of the ringneck snake in the North.

Diet And Feeding

Due to the snake’s small size, it cannot be fed standard pinkie mice. Pinkies are small meals for most pet snakes, but they are too big for ringnecks. You’ll have to rely on bugs then.

The ringneck snake is usually attracted to crickets and other insects. The majority of pet stores carry crickets, so you won’t have any trouble finding one.

The recommended number of crickets to put in the terrarium per week is about 2-3. Spread out feedings over several days.

Handling Ringneck Snake

It is important to handle ringneck snakes with proper control. They can pose a dangerous threat to human life. Do not handle ANY snake without experience. 

It will take some time for your pet to adjust to its new surroundings after it has been brought home.

As with building the relationship, you should be slow when handling your ringneck snake. It is best to handle the snake for no more than five minutes at a time. Do not release it until it has calmed down. When your pet is handled, he learns to behave through positive reinforcement. After that, you can work for 10 minutes until you are ready to work for longer periods.

Greg Schechter/Flickr

Then you need to wait until it’s been eating regularly for a little while before handling it. In general, it takes about a week for the pet to get used to eating regularly.

It is recommended to handle ringneck snakes at least 1-2 times per week and not more than once daily. For snakes’ mental well-being, social interaction is not necessary, but handling allows them to exercise and stay tame.

Choosing Your Pet Ringneck Snake

Ringneck snakes should be purchased from reputable breeders or rescue organizations in order to ensure a healthy life. Find out how often the snake eats and what it has been eating, as well as when it last ate and defecated. You can expect to pay between $100 and $500 depending on the snake’s species and age.

Choose an adult snake if that’s what you want, and a hatchling if that’s what you prefer. If you have little experience with snakes, choosing a hatchling may be the best option. You can probably handle it easily from a young age since it has been captive-bred.

Upon stretching, it should not have any visible kinks or ribs, nor should its ribs be visible at all. Make sure to check your furry friend’s skin for ticks and mites before taking it home.

Common Diseases In Ringneck Snake 

The care of ringneck snakes is somewhat unique and you need to understand some of these issues in order to minimize future health care problems.

Anorexia: Anorexia is a lack of appetite or refusal to eat. Anorexia is common among snakes, and some species are more susceptible than others. During reproduction (the breeding season), egg-bearing (a pregnant snake), or shedding, anorexia may occur. As well as being a symptom of an underlying condition, anorexia can also be the result of an incorrect light cycle, an incorrect diet, nutrient deficiencies, or, most commonly, changes in the environment that cause stress.

Salmonella: Reptiles, including snakes, are capable of carrying this bacteria as part of their normal gastrointestinal flora, though turtles are most commonly implicated in spreading Salmonella to their owners. Septicemia (blood infection) caused by Salmonella can be fatal. The bacteria can be carried by animals and humans without showing clinical signs, but they can spread infection through their feces.

Abnormal swellings and masses: A snake’s skin or internal organs may develop lumps and bumps. These abnormal swellings and masses are caused by a variety of conditions. Tumors, infections, or parasites can all cause external lumps. The swelling of the internal organs can be caused by an increase in the size of the organ itself (such as in an infection of the kidneys or parasitic infection in the stomach), retained eggs in snakes that lay eggs, or even tumors. The lump is often the result of the snake eating its food.

If you want to learn more about how to care for ringneck snakes, it’s recommended to contact a snake specialist.

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