The red on black snake: A guide to identifying this venomous species - Snake

The red on black snake: A guide to identifying this venomous species


The red on black snake, also known as the Coral Snake, is a venomous species that is primarily found in the southeastern United States and parts of Mexico. It is important to properly identify this snake in order to avoid any potential danger.

Behavior and Appearance

The red on black snake is relatively small, typically growing to around two to three feet in length. Its body is thin and round, and its head is small with a pointed snout. The snake’s scales are smooth and shiny, which can make it difficult to identify in certain lighting conditions.

One of the most distinctive features of the red on black snake is its color pattern. The snake’s body is divided into red, yellow, and black bands that are arranged in a specific order. The most common pattern is red, yellow, black, yellow, red. However, there are several other variations of the color pattern, which can make identifying the snake even more challenging.

Another distinguishing characteristic of the red on black snake is its behavior. It is typically a shy and reclusive snake that hides in wooded areas, under rocks, or other debris. It will only bite if it feels threatened or cornered, and its venomous bite can be deadly.

Identification Tips

Identifying the red on black snake can be a challenging task, especially for those who are inexperienced in dealing with snakes. However, there are several key identification tips that can help you differentiate the Coral Snake from non-venomous species.

– Red Touches Yellow: When trying to identify the red on black snake, remember the common phrase “Red touch yellow, kill a fellow”. This means that if the red and yellow bands touch each other, it is a red on black snake and should be avoided.
– Head Shape: The red on black snake has a small, narrow head that is distinct from its body. Non-venomous species usually have a similar head size to their body or a rounded head, so the small, pointed head of the Coral Snake is a good distinguishing characteristic.
– Eye Shape: The eye of the red on black snake is small and round, as opposed to the larger and more elliptical eyes of non-venomous species.
– Behavior: As mentioned earlier, the red on black snake is typically shy and reclusive, so if you spot a snake that is aggressive or doesn’t try to get away from you, it could be a non-venomous species.

What to Do if You Spot a Red on Black Snake

If you spot a red on black snake, it is important to avoid any unnecessary contact with the animal. Keep a safe distance and observe the snake from a distance. Do not try to handle or capture the snake, as this can lead to a potentially dangerous situation.

If you or someone else has been bitten by a red on black snake, seek medical attention immediately. The venom can be deadly, especially to children or those with weakened immune systems.

Final Thoughts

Identifying the red on black snake can be a challenging task, but it is an important skill to have in areas where this venomous species is prevalent. Remember to keep a safe distance from any snakes you encounter and seek medical attention if bitten. With proper precautions, you can minimize the risk of coming into contact with this dangerous snake species.

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