The coral snake, Micrurus fulvius as its scientific name goes, is considered to be the cobra family-related snake. These solitary beings are usually found in marshy areas, burrowed under the ground. Their bright color and ring patterns attract young people's curiosity and lead to some accidents. These accidents mostly occur due to the aggressive nature of coral snakes and their venomous bite.
Here's a fun fact about these species: whenever the coral snakes are threatened they do not immediately bite with their venomous force. These coral snakes, instead, curl up and hide their head beneath the body. It uses its tail, which looks similar to the head, by keeping it upwards to confuse the attacker in deciding which end of the snake is the actual head. Quite an interesting self-defense trick, isn't it? For more such impressive facts, read on, and for information related to the other types of snakes and their life, check out green anaconda and rattlesnake.
What do they prey on?
Small snakes, lizards, frogs, birds, rodent
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
2-5 lb ( 1.4-2.3 kg)
How long are they?
18-59 in (46-150 cm)
How tall are they?
What do they look like?
White, black ring, red, yellow rings
What are their main threats?
Mammal, predator birds, and snakes
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Sandy and marshy areas burrowed underground, wooded areas, or in leaf litter
Asia, North America, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona, Africa
The coral snake is a semi-aquatic Elapid snake belonging to the Elapidae family.
What class of animal does a Coral Snake belong to?
The old-world coral snakes, as well as the new world coral snakes, belong to the Reptilia class of animals.
How many Coral Snakes are there in the world?
Although there are around 80 species of the new world coral snakes and approximately more than 15 species of the old world coral snakes, the exact number of coral snakes around the world is unknown.
Where does a Coral Snake live?
The eastern coral snakes are supposed to be the relative of cobra, sea snake, and mamba species. The coral snakes are majorly found in Asia, North American regions, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona, as well as Africa.
What is a Coral Snake's habitat?
The Eastern coral or North American coral snakes are mostly spotted living in the sandy and marshy areas. They live underground or in the wooded areas where one might find leaf litter in abundance.
Who do Coral Snakes live with?
Coral snakes are solitary beings and are usually quite aggressive in nature. They prefer living alone, although a group of these snakes when spotted together can be named as a bed or a knot of coral snakes.
How long does a Coral Snake live?
The coral snakes are considered to live on an average of seven years. If and when held in captivity and well-bred, this species can even live as long as 10-18 years.
How do they reproduce?
Coral snakes are recognized as ambiguous creatures due to which details about their reproduction and mating cycles are still not clear. Although it is known for a fact that coral snakes do not give live birth as other such snakes. In fact, coral snakes lay eggs around the summer days. The coral snakes lay a clutch of a minimum of two to a maximum of 9-13 eggs.
What is their conservation status?
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), coral snakes are considered of the Least Concern. Although due to them being small and elusive in nature, it has not yet been possible to get an exact number of their population in the world today.
Coral Snake Fun Facts
What do Coral Snakes look like?
The most attractive factor that makes the eastern coral snake stands out even with a small and thin structure are the bright colors i.e. yellow, red, and black rings with a black nose. Although red and yellow-black and yellow patterns are the most common species pattern found in the North American coral snakes list, all coral snakes do not follow this exact color scheme and might vary region to region. For instance, the Texas snake would either have yellow and black rings or would be completely white with red and yellow rings. Another distinctive feature is that the coral snake's head blends quite effortlessly into the body without a neck. As they are semi-aquatic, they have smooth scales and a pair of fixed fangs or rather hollow fangs that consist of venom in the front of their mouth.
How cute are they?
All the coral snakes are venomous in nature. Even though all of them have bright color schemes and might seem attractive, they do not appear to be cute due to their unfriendly and aggressive nature.
How do they communicate?
Coral snakes, just like other venomous snakes, prefer being alone, although they can use their pheromones or chemical cues to communicate just like other snakes whenever necessary. They use their vomeronasal organ, which helps them to locate their prey as well as get a hint of their predator.
How big is a Coral Snake?
Coral snakes are thin and usually even likened to a small pencil due to their slender body that lacks fluctuations in their width patterns. They can be anywhere between 18-59 in (46-150 cm) in length and are usually double the size of their look-alike namely the scarlet kingsnakes.
How fast can a Coral Snake move?
The coral snakes are ambiguous in nature due to which there aren't enough records of their speed. However, the coral snake bites might happen quickly as the snake moves and hold onto its prey to chew on the prey to inject its venom due to the short fangs.
How much does a Coral Snake weigh?
The coral snakes are slender and small. They weigh anywherebetween 2-5 lb ( 1.4-2.3 kg) depending on their size.
What are their male and female names of the species?
There are no distinct names registered for the coral snake species based on their genders. Hence, they are referred to as male coral snakes and female coral snakes in common terms.
What would you call a baby Coral Snake?
Just as the other venomous snakes or even the non-venomous snakes, a coral snake's baby is called a neonate, snakelet, or even a hatchling snake as this species lays eggs that give birth to babies that are full of venom and bright colors.
What do they eat?
The coral snake is a species that eats other small snakes including their own species of coral snakes. That is not their only diet; the coral snakes mainly feed on lizards, frogs, birds, and rodents too.
Are they poisonous?
Yes. All the coral snake species are born with venom and you should watch out for any eastern or Arizona coral snake bites. As their fangs are short, it is difficult for them to reach the skin through thick fabric or leather, in such cases a human can be safe from their venom.
Would they make a good pet?
Many cases have shown coral snakes in captivity. It is advised not to keep them as pets since the venomous coral snakes would rarely qualify as being good pets.
Did you know...
With an aggressive nature, it is important to be careful when handling or coming in contact with the coral serpents. The additional reason with aggressive nature is that all the coral snakes are venomous and they are considered to possess the second most venom amongst the snakes. If these species end up biting a human, two things might happen. First, due to their small fangs, it gets difficult at times for the snake to penetrate the venom through thick surfaces. Second, the snake would chew or hold onto the surface for a long time which helps it in the excretion of the neurotoxic venom even better.
Although there haven't been any death cases reported due to the coral snake's venomous bite, it might lead to difficult situations. The human body wouldn't react immediately after the snake bite. The early symptoms would take hours to appear and might include double vision, slurred speech, or muscle paralysis. The major failure that might occur after the snake's bite would be respiratory failure.
The Coral Snake rhyme
Many people might read a lot about coral snake vs king snake. Well, that is because many snakes look like coral snakes. The scarlet kingsnake is one such example. To identify these snakes better, the local people came up with a few coral snakes' rhymes. These rhymes are as follows: 'Red touch black, safe for Jack, red touch yellow, kill a fellow,' 'Red on yellow, kill a fellow,' 'Red and yellow deadly fellow', or 'Red and Black Friend of Jack'.
Different types of Coral Snake
There are around 80 different types of coral snakes and usually, they have a common name based on their regions. For instance, the Texas coral snake, Arizona coral snake, Brazilian coral snake, Eastern coral snake have different variations in their patterns and color scheme where the yellow, red and black rings vary. Apart from these, there are many new world coral snakes named according to their genus category like Leptomicurus, Micruroides, Micrurus. Similarly, the old-world coral snakes are named according to their three genus categories namely, Calliophis, Hemibungarus, Sinomicrurs genus.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including sand lizard, or cottonmouth snake.
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