Northen Brown and Eastern Ring Neck Snakes

Northen Brown and Eastern Ring Neck Snakes


I’d like to show you two other types of
smaller snakes you might encounter in your landscape. This is a handsome
little snake, very tiny little guy, very dainty, called the
Eastern ring neck snake. Generally it’s a sort of a slate gray, almost a black colored snake with a
great, brilliant yellow under side, and a small black head with a very
distinctive yellow ring around the neck – hence the name, ring neck snake. Ring neck snakes are quite common
throughout much of Maryland in the mid Atlantic region. They’re usually
good hiders, very, very secretive. Usually don’t encounter them
out in the open except at night. Typically they’re gonna be hiding
underneath the paving stones inside the crevices and stone walls or maybe under
a piece of bark on an old fallen in log or something like that. They feed on small
worms, small salamanders. They are also as small as they are, they
are an egg laying snake and lay a tiny, tiny little egg. Gosh, it’s
only, just barely half inch long. And these hatch out in the fall,
exact replicas of the adults, but only about two inches long. These snakes as I mentioned are
small, do not get very large. This one is about a typical size. The biggest I’ve ever seen
around here is around 12 inches. But the texts do say that they
get up to around 14 inches long. The second one I want to show you is the
Northern Brown snake or also known as the DeKay snake. Now, the Northern Brown snake or
DeKay snake is a little bit larger. And this was also known as the city snake. Very commonly found in a lot
of our cities. It is also
like the ring neck snake, very much a secretive snake. It tends to be underneath things and this
is usually where people encounter them because when they’re raking leaves and
find them underneath the leaves or if they’re moving logs underneath the
logs or sometimes underneath a paver. The snake is has a characteristic very
pink little belly there like this. And the back is sort of
a, a medium light Brown, almost a beige color with very distinctive
some people call them diamonds, I would just call them the little black
dots. Basically going down the back, down the dorsal area. You may have to characterize a little
tiny little head just so just flicking his tongue in and out, sensing
everything that’s going around. These eat almost exclusively earthworms. And this one is a live bearer, much like
the garter snake and the water snake. Sometimes called the DeKay snake, not named after decaying
vegetation or compost, but after the doctor
named doctor DeKay, D, E, K A Y who first described this
snake many, many years ago, very tiny little snake. And for a lot of children probably one
of the first snakes they ever see and study and probably have
even kept as a pet.

Randy Schultz

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