Description: 10 - 14 inches. Ringneck snakes are uniformly dark colored with a light colored ring around the neck. Prairie ring-necked snakes (D. punctatus arnyi) have a yellow belly with random dark spots, and fades into a red or reddish-orange color under the tail. Northern ring-necked snakes (D. punctatus edwardsii) have yellow bellies with reduced spots, or completely lacking all together.
Similar Species: Dark colored red-bellied snakes may appear similar to a ring-necked snakes, but have a light stripe down the back, and plain red, pink, or orange belly.
Comments: Northern ring-necked snakes are restricted to northeast Minnesota, whereas prairie ring-necked snakes are restricted to southeast Minnesota. Both species are infrequently encountered as they spend the majority of their time hiding beneath rocks. Only the northern ring-necked snake is considered a Species in Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) by Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources (MnDNR).