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threatened and/or endangered

Texas Coral Snake Micrurus tener


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Texas Coral Snake, swallowing prey
credit: Dawson

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Family: Elapidae, Coral Snakes view all from this family

Description Black, yellow and red banding. Black head. Smooth scales, 15 rows. Divided anal plate.

Dimensions 55.9-120.7m. (22-47 1/2")

Warning Coral snakes belong to the same family as the highly venomous cobras, kraits, mambas, and sea snakes. Unlike vipers and pit vipers, coral snakes have fangs that are fixed in position on the front part of the upper jaw and cannot be folded back. Coral snake venom is strongly neurotoxic, affecting the victimís nervous and respiratory systems, and bites can be fatal. Do not handle these snakes!

Several harmless snakes have color patterns resembling that of the coral snakes. Coral snakes always have a blunt black snout and red, yellow, and black rings that completely encircle the body. There is a yellow ring on both sides of every red ring. Remember: "Red touch yellow, kill a fellow." The harmless Scarlet Kingsnake (a race of Milk Snake) looks like a coral snake but has a red snout, and the red and yellow rings are separated by black rings: "Red touch black, friend of Jack." In the nonvenomous Scarlet Snake, the rings don't completely circle the body as they do in coral snakes, the belly is white, the snout is red and pointed, and the red areas are ringed in black. How to avoid and treat snakebites

Breeding Breeds in June. 3-12 eggs in a clutch. 18-23cm (7-9") long when hatched in September.

Habitat Hardwood forests near water.

Range Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Mexico.

Discussion Highly venomous. Shouldn't be handled.