Field Guide to Maryland's Snakes (Order Squamata)
Sub-order Serpentes, Family Colubridae
Northern Ring-necked Snake
Diadophis punctatus edwardsii
Southern Ring-necked Snake
Diadophis p. punctatus
Diadophis p. punctatus X edwardsi
Photo of Northern Ring-necked Snake courtesy of Linh Phu
Photo of Southern Ring-necked Snake courtesy of Matt Close
10 - 15 inches. Record - 27¾ inches.
Primarily found in hardwood and mixed pine-hardwood forests, but will also occur in agricultural lands next to woodlots and backyards. Usually found associated with moisture.
How to Find
A secretive nocturnal species. Look under coarse woody
debris and junk piles and within rotting logs in moist (mesic)
woodlands. Young are often discovered in residences after first cold
of late Summer/early Fall. Will not bite when handled but may discharge foul-smelling feces and musk. Non-venomous.
Distribution in Maryland
The Northern Ring-necked Snake is found west of the Chesapeake Bay.
The Southern Ring-necked Snake and the intergrade are found on the Eastern Shore.
- Discover Maryland's Herps
- Maryland Herp History
- Maryland Herp Checklist
- Survey Techniques, Collecting Ethics, Safety and the Law
- Problems with Buying Frogs and Tadpoles for Wild Release
- Technical Guide: A Key to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Maryland - 86.3 MB pdf file
- Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas (MARA) Project
- Natural Heritage Program
- Wildlife & Heritage Home
"A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"
For monthly newsletters of the Maryland Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project click on Recent Newsletters and scroll down to the MARA Newsletters.
The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.