Wow! We're already into October as the months have just flown by.
Wildlife and Snake season has slowed down, but one snake that keeps me very busy during the month of October is a little snake known as the Northern Ring-neck. When clients are referred to me regarding these snakes, the first thing they say is that they thought they had a worm in their basement, but, no, it was a snake. Not just one but several, and that's because these little snakes are born between September and October.
The Ring-neck snake is a small, slender snake. They are olive, brownish, or black in color. They have an orange, cream, red, or bright yellow circle around their neck. These litttle snakes mate in Spring and Fall and lay clutches of about ten enlongated white or yellowish eggs around June to July. Young hatch in about eight weeks and are about four to six inches long when born. These also have a red underbelly.
Like all snakes, Ring-neck snakes are very secretive. When it comes to places around the home where they can be found, these snakes are often in the basement, near sump pumps, drains or small cracks they can enter around the foundation. They prefer a lot of moisture and dampnesss. Their diet consists of earthworms, slugs, small salamanders, lizards and newborn snakes.
In the wild, away from suburban areas, they prefer flat rocks, logs, loose bark off dead trees and small log piles. Food is abundant in these areas more so than around the home.
Ring-neck snakes, when threatened, coil in a tight position and display their red underbelly. They also put out a very foul musk scent from the cloaca, which is their anal area. This is not a pleasant smell as it truly stinks. So try to avoid picking these snakes up.
As always, thank you for reading and you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can ever answer or help with any of your snake and wildlife questions.
Tammy McCormack is a professional snake trapper and writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.