laying cover for ringnecks

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jonathan
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laying cover for ringnecks

Post by jonathan »

Hi Richard. I was wondering if you had any advice on laying cover for ringnecks in our region?

I was planning on using some scrap carpet near a rock pile but was wondering if the type of carpet matters. Also on whether to lay at the base of the pile, between the rocks, or on the rocks (most of the rocks are large or deep-seated or situated on top of other rocks).

Jonathan

Richard F. Hoyer
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Re: laying cover for ringnecks

Post by Richard F. Hoyer »

Jonathan,
I have no experience with observing Ringneck Snakes under carpet. Most of the Ringneck Snakes I have encountered have been either under the artificial cover I have set out (thin plywood /roofing tin) or under junk discarded by humans. I have encountered a smaller number of the species under natural cover objects.

As you may or may not know, the species occurs at a very high density at the E. E. Wilson Wildlife Area north of Corvallis. I found the species to have good densities at a couple of other sites in Oregon and two in California, one of which was when I was doing the SRB study in the San Bernardino Mts.

I have a question for you or anyone else that is knowledgeable about the species of garter snake along the central Calif. coast of Monterey and northwestern San Luis Obispo Counties. On April 20th I encountered 8 or 9 garter snakes in those two counties but because time was limited, I did not bother to examine any of them.

And even if I did, I am not certain I could make positive I.D. Do you (or others) know which species commonly occurs in those two counties in grassland habitat well away from water but near the ocean? And what are the identifying features for those species? I observed one T. sirtalis last year at a small pond but the garter snakes I have encountered are some other specie or species.

Sorry I can’t be of help with the Ringneck Snake. Richard F. Hoyer (Corvallis, Oregon)

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jonathan
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Re: laying cover for ringnecks

Post by jonathan »

In my experience the only common garter snake away from water in that region is the Western Terrestrial Garter Snake, coast subspecies (Thamnophis elegans terrestris). I have found them reliably on trails and in vegetated sand dune habitats in Monterey County, often not near any water. Also in scrub habitat away from water further to the north.

Those less likely, it could be possible to get a Thamnophis sirtalis fitchi away from water around there. I've seen a sirtalis further north towards the bay area that wasn't very close to any water. However, I get the impression that sirtalis is far rarer than elegans in that area and I think it's less likely to be found in large numbers away from water.

I would think that Thamnophis atratus in the area would not be found away from water. I don't have all that much experience to be sure though.



For ID there is so much variation in all three species from region to region that I have to go to scale counts to be sure. Usually I know right away which species it is from general gestalt, but there have been several (including one in the San Simeon area) that completely confused me. You might be able to ask someone who has herped a lot more in that area and they could tell you how to distinguish the species most reliably.

http://www.californiaherps.com/identifi ... eskey.html

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Jeff
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Re: laying cover for ringnecks

Post by Jeff »

Off the ring carpet, onto the C coast garters

In the stated area, the three-striped species lacking red are the Aquatic T. atratus and terrestrial T. elegans. The former has wee bit wider and yellower stripes than the latter. The relative length of the gulars/chin shields is informative: rear ones longer in atratus, same length in elegans.

Elegans is the one that strays from water. Jonathan called it. Also see Owen's post with illustrations:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=22138&p=245900&hilit=Owen#p245900

Jeff

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Porter
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Re: laying cover for ringnecks

Post by Porter »

I figured I’d slide on in, considering my Richard status, however rarely used, is still valid...

I stopped and thought about this for a minute… 🤔 And then realized, all my ringneck snake finds that were flipped Beneath AC, were from roofing tin. And one of those areas had both plywood and tin to choose from. There was only one ringneck in Pollock Pines I found Under a very random thin and small chunk piece of plywood. Little more than a quarter inch maybe. All the rest have either been found on the crawl, under logs, and only two from under rock. But that is all Sierra Nevada and the foothills leading up to it. I did actually flip 2 ringneck snake from between a stack of wet plywood, in Petaluma CA. But that was more of an overwintering find. Where they were using it for hiding And not for thermal regulation

I’ve probably found more than two under rocks because I’ve already changed that answer from 1 to 2... lol both coral-bellied. One on top of dirt and the other rock on top of rock. The AC info is accurate though. Also never under carpet.

I want to say I flipped one under cardboard once, but can’t think of a specific find

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Porter
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Re: laying cover for ringnecks

Post by Porter »

Jonathan, I just remembered this… There was a member on here quite a while back. Around the time I first started posting, which would’ve been around 2010. I think his name was David Tobler. Not sure if I have the spelling right. I remember he suggested laying carpet on a mound of rocks after I posted some photos Of a little junkpile area where I found a red YBR, rattlesnakes, and a high orange colored gopher snake. I don’t believe he was suggesting that for ringneck Snakes… But he seemed to know a specific reason to put that carpet there. I don’t think he stated what the reason was. I figured it was probably for eggs... it seems to me that it would make for good incubation. But you might want to try to look him up and PM him

Richard F. Hoyer
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Re: laying cover for ringnecks

Post by Richard F. Hoyer »

Jeff, Jonathan,
Thanks for the garter snake ID information. Next time I am down in coastal Monterey and northwestern San Luis Obispo Counties, I may try identifying the garter snakes I encounter.

At one spot in Monterey Co., one poor garter snake was being mobbed, molested, and bullied by 4 or 5 other garter snakes. Fortunately, with my presence, the bullies dispersed that were ganging up on that one larger garter snake. (He he)

In NW San Luis Obispo Co. and within a few hundred yards of the ocean, besides a large female garter snake, I also encountered a small California Kingsnake and a decent size Northern Pacific Rattlesnake estimated at about 3 – 3.5 ft.

Richard FH

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Jeff
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Re: laying cover for ringnecks

Post by Jeff »

Richard
Thanks for the report (though common) of multiple males courting a single, large female natricine. Your efforts thwarted a multiple-insemination event that could have resulted in a paternity lawsuit that may have boosted, astronomically, the career of Maury Povitch.

As a serious aside -- putting out 'cover' (tin, plywood, carpet) -- is legally considered littering.
Jeff

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