A Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of California
Ring-necked Snakes found in California
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Not Dangerous (Non-poisonous)
Ring-necked Snakes do not have venom that is dangerous to most humans.
This small snake is found in moist habitats throughout the state. It is mostly absent from deserts and very dry habitats. It is typically found hiding underneath surface objects, but occasionally it is seen crossing a trail or road, or even basking in the morning or evening. Generally, this snake is not found during the dry summer months.
Seven Subspecies are currently found in California. Each is similar in appearance, with a ring around the neck, separating a darkhead from a gray to greenish body, with a yellow or orange belly. Check the range map below to determine which subspecies occurs in your area.