The Scarlet Snake, also known as Cemophora coccinea, is a species of non-venomous snake that is found in the southeastern region of the United States. This snake is one of the most fascinating reptiles that you may encounter in the wild and is surprisingly common in many areas.
The Scarlet Snake is unique in its appearance due to its vivid red, black, and white striped pattern, which can be mistaken for the venomous coral snake. However, one can easily differentiate Scarlet Snake from Coral Snake due to their colors being arranged differently. The colors of a Scarlet Snake are arranged in a somewhat chaotic form, with red, black, and white bands scattered randomly throughout its body, while the Coral Snake has a more regular pattern of: red, yellow, and black bands. The black bands on the Scarlet Snake are also much wider than that of the Coral Snake.
Another interesting aspect of the Scarlet Snake is that they are not very large and typically grow only up to about 20 inches in length, which makes them relatively easy to handle. Unlike many other snake species, the Scarlet Snake is not often aggressive and will primarily keep to itself in the wild. These snakes tend to be nocturnal, and therefore, you may have a chance to see them only at night time.
The Scarlet Snake’s distribution ranges from the eastern parts of Colorado, across the southern states, and further down to the Caribbean. They inhabit a variety of habitats, including prairies, forests, and wetlands. These reptiles have an exceptional sense of smell and vision, which makes them proficient in hunting their prey. Their primary diet is other small reptiles, amphibians, and rodents.
Despite being non-venomous, the Scarlet Snake can be dangerous when handled poorly. Like many other snakes, it can become aggressive if it feels threatened, and bites can be painful. The best practice when encountering any snake in the wild is to maintain a safe distance from it. It’s essential to note that although they are not venomous, these snakes should still be treated with respect.
In conclusion, the Scarlet Snake is a fascinating and surprisingly common species that can be found in many parts of the southeastern United States. Although often mistaken for the venomous Coral Snake, the Scarlet Snake is non-venomous and typically quite docile. These reptiles have a unique appearance and can offer a thrilling encounter for those who are interested in observing wildlife. As always, it’s important to remember to treat all wildlife with respect and to maintain a safe distance when observing them in their natural habitat.