Nova Scotia Herpetofaunal Atlas
Redbelly Snake vs Ringneck Snake


Redbelly Snake (photo Harold Stewart)


Ringneck Snake with stomach exposed
(photo Ron Merrick and John Gilhen)

Redbelly and Ringneck Snakes are often confused because they can both have grey backs and orange or red bellies; occasionally Redbelly Snakes have their two pale neck spots expanded into a complete ring. To reliably tell them apart, take a look at a couple of other characteristics. Redbelly Snakes have a pale stripe along their side where the color changes from brown or grey to orange or pink; ringneck snakes do not have this stripe. Redbelly Snakes also have keeled scales; there is a little ridge down the centre of every scale. These make the grey on the back look rather dull and feel rough, like fine sandpaper. In contrast, Ringneck Snakes do not have keeled scales, so the grey on their backs is very smooth and has a noticeable sheen, like silk or satin.

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