ring-necked snake

ringneck snake

noun
any of several small, nonvenomous North American snakes of the genus Diadophis, usually having a conspicuous yellow or orange ring around the neck.
Also, ring-necked snake.
Also called ring snake.


Origin:
1825–35

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

ring-necked snake

small terrestrial snake (family Colubridae), found widely in North America, that sports a ring or collar of contrasting colour around its neck or nape. The ring is most frequently white to yellow on an otherwise uniform background of brown, gray, or black. The ring-necked snake is found throughout the eastern and western United States, southeastern Canada, and northeastern Mexico. There are several subspecies, and most are small, usually less than 38 cm (15 inches) in total length-though the regal ring-necked snake (D. punctatus regalis) may exceed 46 cm (18 inches) in length. In some ring-necked snakes the light collar is large and prominent in the young, but it then slowly shrinks and eventually disappears as the snake matures. The function of a ringed neck is unknown, though it presumably has some camouflaging or signaling purpose. Ring-necked snakes forage within surface litter for worms, arthropods, frogs, salamanders, and other small reptiles.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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