Coral snakes have the second-strongest venom in the world and belong to the same family (Elapidae) as cobras, mambas and sea snakes. There are over eighty species of these snakes in the world, divided into two separate groups: Old World (which are found in Asia) and New World (which are found in the Americas). The familiar red-yellow-black-yellow banding pattern belongs to many species found in North America, but in other parts of the world, coral snakes have different coloring, such as red bands next to black bands, pink or blue banding, or no banding at all.
They are not usually very big — North American species average about 3 feet (0.9 meters) long — but there are cases where they can grow to over 5 feet (1.5 meters) long. Coral snakes are not aggressive and usually prefer to run rather than fight when confronted by a predator. If fleeing is not an option, they may curl up and show the tail instead of the head, confusing an attacker. The fangs of the coral snake are rather weak, so it has to chew the prey to inject its venom. Leather clothing is completely impenetrable for the snake’s fangs.
In addition to feeding on lizards, frogs and mice, coral snakes will feed on other snakes, which is called ophiophagy.
Coral Snakes are featured in the following book:
25 Awesome Snakes
The YouTube video playlist below contains videos about Coral Snakes. Details of the videos featured are underneath.
- Coral Snake in Backyard by sethandkristen
- Coral Snakes 01, Venomous Snake of America by ojatro
- Coral Snakes 03, Venomous Snake of America by ojatro
- Coral Snake Vs. Milksnake by Orry Martin