What is a Coral Snake
Coral snakes are known for being elusive burrowing snakes. They spend most of their time under the ground or buried in leaves. They come to the surface only when it’s raining or when breeding. Some species of coral snake are entirely aquatic, which means they spend the majority of their lives in slow-moving water. They can be anywhere from 18 inches long to 20 inches long, but some of these coral snakes will reach up to 3 feet long. Most of them are as skinny as a pencil, but there are certain species that may be a little bit more bulbous.
New world coral snakes are in the southern range of the United States. These snakes can be found in many different localities, but they’ll be in pine and scrub Sandhill habitats. Depending on where it’s located, some coral snakes are about to be separate species because of how different they are from the others.
Coral snakes have some interesting behaviors. They’re pretty reclusive and they don’t usually bite humans. They only bite them when handled incorrectly or stepped on. They have to chew on their victim to inject the venom fully, so these bites don’t usually result in death in humans.
What is a King Snake
It’s a non-venomous medium sized snake commonly found in North America. They get their name because they are known for eating other snakes. They’re very popular among pet owners because of their docile nature. Most species of the king snake have bright patterns on their skins and contrasting colors. They usually have bands and sparkles as patterns which break up the snake’s body outline. This makes it less visible to pray like foxes and coyotes. The coloring can also differ depending on the geographic location. They have smooth scales and round pupils.They’re known for being cute because of their spoon shaped head and round jaw.
There are many types of kingsnakes. One example is the black king snake. These snakes are found in the mountains of Tennessee. They appear to be a solid jet black, but there are sometimes white or yellow spots along their body. Another king snake is the speckled king snake. They have markings that are white or yellow on every single scale. Lastly, the Scarlet king snake is a well-known subspecies found from Central Virginia to Key West Florida. This is a non-venomous snake that evolved to look like a venomous species to scare away predators.
There are many other kinds of king snakes but they all have that cute, spoon shaped head that they’re known for.
Why Is It Confusing
The main reason it’s confusing is because of the color similarity between the coral snake and the Scarlet king snake. Coral snakes are beautiful snakes but they’re very dangerous. The Scarlet king snakes are just as beautiful but they’re not harmful at all. You need to know the difference in case you’re thinking about catching a snake or were bitten by a snake and don’t know if you need to go to the hospital.
Scarlet king snakes and coral snakes are often confused because they are both striped snakes. Also, both snakes have yellow, red and black stripes. Red yellow and black pattern on Coral snakes is different from the pattern on Scarlet King Snakes. However the difference is very small and it’s important that you can spot the difference especially if you’re out in the wild and are thinking about getting close to a snake that has those stripes.
Why is the Difference Important
Coral snakes are highly venomous snakes and they have the second strongest venom of any snake. They do have an ineffective poison delivery system, so that is something that you want to take into consideration.
This may sound scary, but there was an anti-venom developed, so no deaths in North America have been reported for decades. Their bites are very painful though and you must get it treated immediately so that you don’t go into cardiac arrest. They have small fangs and a small amount of teeth, so it’s difficult for them to puncture humans.
You’ll likely be bitten if you pick up a coral snake incorrectly. They’re small, so they’re easily scared and the fear will make them bite you. Since they’re small, they don’t carry a lot of venom so they’re going to want to hold on to you and chew so that they can inject their venom. This is a very ineffective delivery method for their venom, which is why you’ll likely just need to get your bite treated if you’re bitten. If you do not get this treated, you’ll experience slurred speech, double vision, and paralysis.
The difference between these two snakes could be a deadly mistake. Experiencing paralysis and double vision is much different from getting bitten by a king snake which would just require you to clean the wound and put a bandage on. Move away very slowly the minute you see a coral snake.
Another reason they’re often confused for one another is because they’re found in the same location. Scarlet king snakes and coral snakes are both located in the southeastern United States. States like Georgia, Florida and South Carolina have these twin snakes in habitats that are wooded, marsh-like and sandy. If you’re camping or living in any of these areas, then it’s very important to know the difference between these two snakes.
Lastly, their temperament and diet both make them very similar. Both snakes like to burrow, and this means they have similar behaviors. You’ll likely see them hiding in leaves or poking out of a hole that they made into the ground, so that’s why it’s very easy to confuse them. Another thing is that their diets are very similar. Both of these snakes eat lizards, bird eggs and frogs as part of their normal diet. They also both eat other snakes.
Because they have similarities and color, patterns and behaviors, it’s very easy to understand why people get them confused. This confusion is normal because many people are not knowledgeable about snakes. For your safety, you should know the difference between these two snakes.
Coral Snake Vs. King Snake
The main similarities between the two are their stripes. The patterns are a little different. The coral snake has a red, yellow, black, yellow and red striped pattern in that order. The pattern for the Scarlet king snake is a little different. The pattern is red, black, yellow, black and red. Coral snakes usually have their yellow stripes touching the red stripe and the coral snake’s yellow stripes never touch the red.
Another difference are the colors of their heads. Scarlet king snakes usually have redheads while coral snakes have black heads. This is not always accurate, but it’s a general description that you can keep in mind when you’re inspecting the snake.
Because these two snakes are commonly confused, there are rhymes that help you remember how to tell the difference between the two of them. If you’re walking through the woods and you see a striped snake, you can repeat these rhymes so that you know if it’s venomous or not. If you want to know if you’re looking at a coral snake, you can say the following rhyme: red touches black, friend of Jack, red touches yellow, kills a fellow.
Coral snakes are so dangerous because they belong to the same family as cobras, see snakes and mambas. This is why they are venomous. Scarlet king snakes are a species of King snakes that are only dangerous if you’re another snake. The biggest difference is that the Scarlet snakes are not venomous while the coral snakes are.
Scarlet king snakes are small snakes and really small in comparison to the other team. They only grow to be about a foot-and-a-half long. Coral snakes are much bigger compared to the Scarlet King Snake because they are usually 3 or 4 feet long. This is a difference is this really visible so if you noticed them being longer than a foot and a half, then you don’t have to be scared.
Are King Snakes Harmful
King snakes are naturally docile. All kingsnakes in general are not harmful to humans. That’s why they often make great pets for snake lovers. Is a kingsnake where to bite you, the most it would do is draw blood but it would not hurt more than a cat scratch. The king snake will only attack if they feel like they’re in danger, but they look scarier than they actually are.
If you want to own a snake then a Scarlet king snake or all king snakes would be a great option. If you want to own multiple, a good rule of thumb to remember is to not put them in the same terrarium. They will be vicious to one another if home is occupied by another snake, but you should have no issue handling them once you go to bond with them. If you’re trying to mate snakes, you also want to keep this in mind because you need them to get along to mate.
What to Do If You See a Snake
If you live in the countryside, understanding precautionary measures that you need to take to be safe from snakes is very important.
The first thing you can do is cut tall grass in your yard. Snakes love to hide in this grass from predators so avoiding a snake would be easier if you have shorter glass. Also, make sure that you keep rodents away (view on Amazon) from your house and yard. They attract snakes because snakes use them for meals.
Also, snakes don’t like the smell of ammonia so you can spray a solution of it in the far parts of your yard. Because this might be a little dangerous for your plants, and sure that is far away from any plan that you might eat or pick.
You should also make sure to use clothes toed shoes whenever you’re walking in woods. If you’re going on a hiking trip in the mountains, make sure you stay away from rock crevices because snakes like to hide there.
Also, snakes don’t usually attack first. They’re very scared of humans because humans are much larger than them so usually keeping away from them is a great way to be safe. If you can, cover up any sources of light because it can attract snakes to you and don’t forget to take the clothes out in the morning.
Understanding the difference between coral snakes and kingsnakes is very important for your safety. Keep in mind the rhymes and rules about what to do when you see a snake to ensure that you’re safe while traveling or camping.