Small snake, about a foot long, plus or minus. Very elegant-looking, bluish-black to grey with a yellow to red necklace. Underneath it has a yellow to red belly.
Eats earthworms, insects, smaller snakes, lizards, salamanders and frogs, which it kills by a combination of squeezing and envenomation. It does not attempt to bite threatening predators, but will twist its tail to expose the bright belly in an attempt to alarm the predator. Because of this it is harmless to humans.
Likes hardwood forests with plenty of rotting logs and stumps to hide in and lay eggs in. Probably common in Wildwood.
The species as a whole is native to much of the eastern US and adjacent Canada with scattered western populations. It is divided into a number of subspecies. The Southern Ring-necked Snake (D. p. punctatus) looks very similar, but in Virginia is only known from the coastal plain.