Cobra Coral

Range: The Eastern Coral Snake occurs throughout Florida, south into the Upper Florida Keys. Outside of Florida, it is found north to southeastern North Carolina and west to eastern Texas and northeastern Mexico.

Habitat: This species occupies a variety of habitats, from dry, well–drained flatwoods and scrub areas to low, wet hammocks and the borders of swamps. They are quite secretive and are usually found under debris and in the ground, but occasionally they are found in the open, and have even been seen climbing the trunks of live oaks. Good numbers of them are turned up when pine flatwoods are bulldozed, particularly in southern Florida.

Because the Eastern Coral Snake is a relative of Old World cobras, people believe its bite nearly always is fatal. While its bite is serious and should receive immediate medical attention, statistics suggest that the bite of the Eastern Coral Snake is less threatening than the bite of an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake.

The Eastern Coral Snake feeds on lizards, other snakes, and frogs.

Because the Eastern Coral Snake is also banded with red, black, and yellow or white, two harmless snakes in Florida, the Scarlet Kingsnake (Lampropeltis elapsoides) and Scarlet Snake (Cemophora cocinnea), are often confused with the Eastern Coral Snake, but it is easy to distinguish between these three snakes. The Eastern Coral Snake has a black snout, while both the Scarlet Kingsnake and Scarlet Snake have red snouts. Also, on both the Eastern Coral Snake and Scarlet Kingsnake the rings go all the way around the body, but the Scarlet Snake's has a completely solid light-colored belly. All three of these snakes are beneficial to the enviraonment and humans and should not be harmed.

'If red touches yellow, it is a (Eastern Coral Snake)

'If red touches black, it is a (Scarlet Kingsnake or Scarlet Snake)

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