Florida Fauna & Flora – Eastern Coral Snake
The extremely venomous eastern coral snake is found throughout Florida. Coral snakes should not be confused with the non-venomous scarlet king and scarlet snakes. These three snakes look similar but knowing the difference could save your life.
Eastern coral snakes have wide black and red bands separated by slender bands of yellow on their bodies. Remember the old saying, “If red touches yellow, kill a fellow.” Coral snakes grow to less than three feet in length. Its nose is black, and the head is narrow and unlike a pit viper’s triangular-shaped head. Coral snakes have short, fixed
fangs and a small mouth.
This snake spends much of its time in rotting logs, brush piles and decaying vegetation. It feeds on lizards, frogs, other snakes and small animals. Coral snakes are related to other deadly snakes including cobras, mambas and sea snakes. This snake does not strike – it chews into flesh to bite and release venom.
Coral snake bites to humans are rare – most bites happen when they’re stepped on or picked up. Nowadays with the availability of antivenin, coral snake bites are rarely fatal, but if bitten, seek medical treatment at once.
Read the full October 2020 SECO News online.