This dazzling, tiny snake is a Ringneck Snake. There are three subspecies of Diadophis punctatus, including the Mississippi, Prairie, and Regal Ringneck Snakes in Texas.
The first two are smaller, growing to only 10-12″ in length. These two snakes eat small frogs, newts, insects, and slugs. The Regal Ringneck Snake, pictured below, can grow up to 19″ in length. They consume slightly larger prey, consisting mainly of other reptiles.
Ringnecks are too small to bite humans, and are considered non-venomous. However, their enlarged back teeth and paralytic saliva give them advantages over their prey.
The most interesting features of these snakes are their brightly colored underbellies. They range from gold to red, with black speckles. When threatened, Ringneck Snakes will flip upside-down and coil their tails as a defense mechanism.