Southeastern Crowned Snake
(Tantilla coronata)

Description: The Southeastern Crowned Snake is a small slender snake that usually measures under a foot in length. They have a uniformly tan or light brown body with a darker brown head and neck. Just behind the head there is a pale ring that separates the dark color on the head from the neck. The belly is yellow to white and unpatterned.

Natural History: This small snake consumes a variety of invertebrates, but has a strong preference for centipedes. They are primarily found in dry pine forests and sand hills, but are very secretive in nature. They often go undetected in suitable habitats as they burrow under loose soil, leaf litter and into rotting stumps and logs.

Similar Species: The Ringnecked Snake (Diadophis punctatus) also has a light ring around the neck, but is black or gray in appearance with a vibrant yellow belly. The Rough Earthsnake (Haldea striatula) and Smooth Earthsnake (Virginia valeriae) are also similar and can have a light ring around they neck, but their body and head are uniformly brown. 

Distribution: This snake is found in several states throughout the Southeastern United States. From Southern Virginia to the panhandle of Florida, and then into eastern Louisiana.

Contributed by Jake Zadik (02/28/2020)