Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Coral Snakes in Texas

The Texas coral snake is the only member of the Elapidae family found in Texas. This type of snake includes members of the cobra family found in Asia and Africa. The Texas coral snake is a very slender snake with a small indistinct head and round pupils. They are normally about 2-1/2 feet long when fully mature. Texas coral snakes have a distinctive pattern with a broad black ring, a narrow yellow ring and a broad red ring, with the red rings always bordered by the yellow rings. Several harmless snakes are similarly marked, but they never have the red and yellow bands touching.

"Red on yellow, kill a fellow; red on black, venom lack."

This is a saying that is easily remembered and can help you to distinguish the difference between the highly venomous coral snake from other nonvenomous ringed species of snakes.

The picture at the top of the post shows a mature Texas coral snake which was about 2 feet long. Sorry about the poor picture quality but these were taken with a cell phone camera. The picture above gives a better view of this Texas coral snake which was in the process of eating another snake. This particular Texas coral snake gives new meaning to the phrase"driveway dining."

Coral snakes are found primarily in the southeastern half of Texas in woodland areas, canyons and fields of the coastal plains. They also prey on other snakes as well.

Central Texas is home to the four main varieties of venomous snakes found in Texas...the copperhead, the water moccasin, the rattlesnake and the coral snake. With warmer temperatures approaching as spring draws near, you would do well to keep a sharp lookout in order to avoid a hazardous encounter with these creatures.

Be aware, Be informed. Be prepared.



Mayberry said...

Yep we got those "red touch yellow" critters here on the coast, along with plenty of rattlers. Couple years ago, we killed a six foot moccasin at Lake Mathis. Always something exciting going on. Keep yer eyes peeled!

riverwalker said...

To: Mayberry

The ons I run across most of the time are copperheads...really hard to see and they don't give you a warning!

Thanks Mayberry.


Michael said...

Thanks for sharing this useful article about coral snakes. There are few other snakes too that look like a coral snake and you have also mentioned in your post about on of these "venom lack" that has red on black strips. I am sure this tip will help all people to make a different between this venomous coral snake and other non-venomous snakes that can be found in similar color combination.