How To Tell the Difference Between a King Snake and a Coral Snake

Can you tell the difference between a venomous coral snake and a nonvenomous look-alike?They both have rings that are black, red and yellow, so it can be difficult to distinguish them in the wild.This article will help you figure out the difference if you spot a snake in North America.

Step 1: Take a look at the snake’s ring pattern.

If the red and yellow rings are touching, this is a venomous coral snake.The easiest way to tell the difference between a coral snake and a scarlet king snake is with a color check.The ring pattern on the coral snake is red, yellow, black, and yellow.The ring pattern on a scarlet king snake could be red, black, yellow, or blue.

Step 2: The snake may have a black and yellow tail.

There are black and yellow bands on the coral snake’s tail.The scarlet king snake’s band pattern is the same throughout his body.

Step 3: The shape and color of the snake’s head is important.

Determine if its head is black or yellow.The coral snake has a short snout.The scarlet king snake’s head is mostly red.

Step 4: You can tell the difference between the two snakes with rhymes.

People who live in regions where coral and scarlet king snakes are common have made up rhymes to help them figure out which is which.Jack is a friend of red.A fellow is killed by red touches yellow.Red touches black.Red touches yellow.Black touches red.You’ll be dead if yellow touches red.Red touches black and eats Cracker Jacks.You’re a dead fellow, red touches yellow.You’re all right Jack, red touches black.

Step 5: The rule applies only to snakes in the US.

The suggestions in this article only apply to coral snakes that are native to North America.Without knowing the actual snake’s species, no assumptions can be made about venomous or non-venomous natures of the snake.They rhymes don’t apply to coral snakes elsewhere or to the snakes that mimic them.

Step 6: Logs and leafy areas should be avoided.

Coral snakes and scarlet king snakes like to spend their daytime hours under logs and leaf piles.They can be found in caves and crevices.When lifting a rock or log, be careful.

Step 7: King snakes are climbing trees.

If you see a colorful snake with a ring pattern climbing a tree, it’s probably a nonvenomous king snake.Coral snakes don’t climb trees very often.Make sure it’s not a coral snake, and play it safe by not getting too close.

Step 8: Look for defensive behavior.

Coral snakes try to confuse their prey by moving their tails and heads back and forth.This behavior is not displayed by king snakes.It’s probably a coral if you see a snake wagging its head and tail.It’s extremely rare to see a coral snake in the wild.If you see one displaying this behavior, you will probably have time to get away.King snakes were named after them because they eat other types of snakes.Although they have been known to shake their tails like rattlesnakes, they don’t display this kind of defensive behavior.

Step 9: The coral snake has a distinctive bite.

A coral snake needs to chew its prey in order to inject venom.People rarely die from coral snake bites due to the fact that it’s possible to throw the snake off before it has time to fully inject venom.A coral snake bite can lead to death.A coral snake bite is not very painful.If venom has been injected, the victim will experience slurred speech, double vision, and so on, even if you don’t feel anything after a coral snake bite.If you get bitten by a coral snake, stay calm and get medical help right away.