Coral snake

Coral snake

What is a coral snake?
 • A snake that lives in the coral reefs?
 • A snake that feeds on corals?
 • A very beautiful, brightly colored snake?

Here is the answer: coral snakes are small, beautifully colored snakes; they often have bands or rings of red, black and yellow or white along their bodies. Certain other brightly colored snakes around the world are also known as coral snakes. There are coral snakes in Africa, Asia, Australia, South America, and of course in North America. The two North American species are the Eastern coral snake, also known as Texas coral snake Micrurus fulvius, and the Arizona-, or Western coral snake Micruroides euryxanthus. The Western coral snake can be found from southern Arizona to northwestern Mexico. It is a relatively small snake usually less than 50 cm long. It mainly inhabits grasslands and dry, deserted regions. It can sometimes be seen after rains, early in the morning or late in the evening.

The eastern coral snake is larger in size, usually 60-75 cm long, and is adapted to a variety of habitats such as dry or humid regions with sandy soil, pinewood and hardwood forests. It is a very secretive snake that hides under the logs.

Both species are slender and tend to be nocturnal. When they are angry or feel threatened they will usually curve their tails into a tight spiral thus showing their bad mood. 

Coral snakes belong to the family Elapidae. So they have a pair of short fangs fixed at the front of their mouths. Coral snakes have powerful neurotoxic venom, nevertheless they rarely bite unless provoked. Many harmless snakes mimic a coral snake- a great way of defending themselves. However there is a difference. 

How can you tell between a venomous coral snake and a non-venomous milk snake? Remember the rhyme: 

Red on yellow- kill a fellow, 
Red on black- venom lack
If you are in doubt whether the snake is venomous or harmless, it is best to stay away!