Southern Ringneck Snake: (Diadophis punctatus)
The southern ringneck snake (diadophis punctatus); is a member of the colubridae family. They average in size between 6 to 10 inches long, with the record being 18.9 inches long.
Southern ringneck snakes have small and slender black bodies with a yellow, cream or orange band around its neck. The belly is a bright yellow, red or orange with a row of spots shaped like half – moons down its center. The head is oval shaped and there pupils are round.
Southern ringneck snakes are found throughout Florida, including the Keys. Their preferred habitats are in meadows, prairies, hardwood hammocks and melaleuca stands.
Southern ringneck snakes are carnivores, primarily consuming earthworms, insects salamanders, slugs, lizards, small snakes and frogs.
Southern ringneck snakes are mainly nocturnal. They are excellent climbers and terrestrial burrower, commonly found under logs, rocks, trees and tree bark. In Florida southern ringneck snakes are the most common snake found in swimming pools, they crawl in to get a drink and then can’t climb out because they are too small to reach the edge of the pool lip. They are very docile and rarely bite when handled by humans, although they do release a foul smelling musk from its glands inside the cloaca. They are harmless to humans and pets.