How Long Do Coral Snakes Live For?

Have you ever heard of a coral snake? It’s a breed of snake that can be divided into two distinct groups. They’re old world coral snakes and New World coral snakes. There are 16 species of old-world coral snakes and there are 65 species of New World coral snakes. There are many colors and patterns that people use to identify the coral snake, but it’s hard because some of them don’t have the commonly seen design. You’ll most likely said coral snake with red, yellow, white and black banding.

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.

How Long Do Coral Snakes Live

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If your coral snake has the proper care and diet, it can live around 7 to 10 years. Because your coral snake is in captivity, it’s likely they’re very picky eaters. They might refuse food or starve to death. If you nurse them properly and they have a high protein diet, then some coral snakes can live for over 10 years, but it isn’t likely.

The lifespan of a wild coral snake is a lot different. Because this species is reclusive and solitary, they avoid human contact. Their life expectancy is very hard to measure and the average life of these snakes in the wild is unknown. They spend most of their time operating in the early morning or night, so it’s very hard to see a wild coral snake especially since they want to avoid contact with humans.

Female corn snakes mature and reproduce at around two years old. They can also begin to reproduce when their snout vent length is around 22 inches long. The males are a little different, and they sexually mature between the ages of 21 months and 27 months. They could also reproduce when their snout vent length is about 18 inches long. They will mate in spring and fall and the female coral snake will hide her eggs. They leave their young as soon as they’re born.

In captivity, your corn snake lives longer because it’s being watched and cared for. You give it a nice habitat, feed it the food that it needs, and it’s free from any predators that may attack it. This is why your coral snake in captivity lives so long. Although you can’t track the wild life span of the coral snake, you can guess that the life span is shorter just because the wild life span of snakes is usually significantly shorter than the lifespan of their breed in captivity.

Ensuring your Coral Snake Lives Long

If you have a coral snake, you’re going to get attached to it. Any pet that you put a significant amount of time caring for will be important to you. After cleaning its cage, feeding it food and nursing it through anything, you’re going to want your coral snake to live as long as possible. In order to make sure your corn snake lives as long as possible, you want to give it the best habitat and food that you can. Here’s more information about the habitat and the food that will ensure that your coral snake lives its longest life.


The first important thing about caring for your coral snake is that it needs a proper enclosure to live in. You should have a 30 to 40 gallon tank (View on Amazon) as the enclosure. Large enclosures are preferred for the coral snake because they’re very secretive and they don’t often like to be seen. They like to burrow and hide under things, so you need enough room for all of these things in the enclosure. You’ll want the bottom dimensions to be around 24 inches by 42 inches, which is suggested by many snake keepers. The snakes don’t climb, so you don’t need a tall tank. You just need a tank with a lot of surface area.

Also, you’ll want to give them at least a 4 to 5 inches of bedding or substrate to burrow into. For these snakes it is suggested that you have peat moss, but you can also do a 40/60 mixture of aspen and cypress. The cypress that you use should be finely shredded and high-grade. You don’t want to use pine or cedar shavings as a substrate for your coral snake ever.

For the humidity level in the enclosure, you want to keep it moderate. You want to mist the cage with clean water every once in a while. Thermostats and hygrometers (View on Amazon) are a must when regulating the temperature and the humidity. You also want to give them proper light. Normal light cycles that match the passing of the day are fine, but these snakes warm very quickly under direct light so you don’t want it to be too hot.


Besides the habitat, it’s very important that they’re fed directly. For coral snakes, their diet is often the reason that they live for shorter lives. Coral snakes can be very finicky about their food in captivity. You want to feed them frequently every 10 days to 2 weeks. You’ll have to feed them more often if the meal is small. They like ground skinks as food. You can use frozen or thawed prey for your snake, but they might have to get used to it. You want to quietly place food in their cage and leave it untouched. Within 24 hours, they should eat the food.


If your corn snake is going to live for a long time, then you’re going to need to know about its venom. Coral snakes are highly venomous snakes and they have the second strongest venom of any snake. They do have a 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 been in. If you do not get this treated, you’ll experience slurred speech, double vision, and paralysis.

Is Coral Snake a Good Pet

It is not suggested that you have a coral snake as a pet. Although it is possible, the snake is venomous and it wouldn’t be a great option. There are a lot of other snakes available for you to have as a pet and you should consider one that’s safer to own. You would have to deal with 7 to 10 years of having a snake that you wouldn’t be able to handle without being bitten, and with the venom, you’d likely have trouble touching them at all. You should do an ample amount of research before you decide to jump in and own a snake.