'Very secretive snake' caught on camera at Texas park

By Mary Claire Patton - Digital Content Curator

TPWD - Copper Breaks State Park

QUANAH, Texas - A prairie ring-necked snake was caught on camera Wednesday at Copper Breaks State Park by park superintendent Edwin Quintero.

A spokesperson with the park said the "very secretive snake" can grow between 9 and 14 inches long and typically lives under logs, rocks or pieces of wood and in prairies.

The spokesperson said the snake's first instinct is to flee when it's first approached, but because the snake is slow, it "flickers it's brightly red colored tail to warn of any potential predators that would like to eat it."

"If that doesn't work it will flip over and expose its brightly colored underbelly," the spokesperson said.

Rare sighting of snake caught on camera at Texas park

Bright colors on the snake's tail and underbelly are intended to draw attention away from the snak's head and make predators think the reptile is venomous, helping the snake to survive.

Prairie ring-necked snakes are usually found in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.

"Their diet consists of small insects, frogs, salamanders, and other small snakes and lizards as well as newborn rodents," the spokesperson said.

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