Identification: This tiny, fossorial snake is a rarity in Indiana; very few have been seen in the state. Crowned snakes are light tan-brown colored snakes with a black head and neck separated by a single light band. Most adult crowned snakes are under a foot (30 cm) in length, making this Indiana's smallest snake.
Similar Species: Though ring-necked snakes also have a light ring around the neck and wormsnakes and earthsnakes are small and brown, there is no other light brown/tan Indiana snake with a black head in Indiana.
Distribution: Crowned snakes are known only from a few rocky glades along the knobstone escarpment in Floyd and adjacent Clark Counties. Though many of these glades have become overgrown, shaded, or otherwise altered; it is likely that this tiny snake still persists in the region. These small burrowing snakes are incredibly secretive, but are sometimes found under rocks or logs. Due to their limited distribution and rarity in Indiana, they are state endangered.