Observation by Sula Vanderplank
Regal Ringneck Snake
A true beauty! The dorsum of ringnecks vary quite a bit among subspecies from blueish to grayish to light brown to greenish-slate-gray. A golden ring around the neck gives them their name although in some subspecies, such as in this specimen (D. punctatus regalis) the ring may be absent altogether or barely marked. The abdomen is a most impressive orange-yellow which turn to a bright orange-red toward the posterior. The abdomen may also present several black spots (mostly occur in subspecies). So beautiful!
This specimen was found in the Trans-Pecos region of the Chihuahuan desert in an open relatively flat desert area dominated by creosote.
This was a very exciting find because this is a species that prefers moist habitats but was found in the very dry Chihuahuan desert. Though, it had emerged after some sporadic heavy rainfall. They are an incredibly beautiful subspecies and remains my favorite snake species of the region.
Black snake with a solid yellow ring around neck
The ring-necked snake or ringneck snake, Diadophis punctatus, is a species of colubrid snake found throughout much of the United States, central Mexico, and southeastern Canada. Ring-necked snakes are secretive, nocturnal snakes, so are rarely seen during the day time. They are slightly venomous, but their nonaggressive nature and small, rear-facing fangs pose little threat to humans who wish to handle them. They are best known for their unique defense posture of curling up their tails,...