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Eastern Coral Snakes

Updated on August 14, 2011
The Eastern Coral Snake or any species of Coral Snake is not for a pet. It should only be kept by professional snake keepers or in a zoo or reptile exhibit. The Eastern Coral Snake is one of the most dangerous snakes in the USA.
The Eastern Coral Snake or any species of Coral Snake is not for a pet. It should only be kept by professional snake keepers or in a zoo or reptile exhibit. The Eastern Coral Snake is one of the most dangerous snakes in the USA. | Source
This is a Scarlet King Snake. Notice the difference in their coloring. If you ever have any doubt let the snake along.
This is a Scarlet King Snake. Notice the difference in their coloring. If you ever have any doubt let the snake along. | Source

The Eastern Coral Snake

The colorful eastern coral snake is often mistaken for a scarlet king snake. Here its important to remember that if black touches yellow talking about the bands around the snake it can kill you. The scarlet king snake as you can see in the photo is colored similar but there is a distinct difference. If you ever have a doubt leave the snake along because the eastern coral snake is one of the most venomous of all the poisonous snakes in the United States.

The eastern coral snake occurs from North Carolina down to southern Florida and west to Louisiana though the snake does occur in Texas and has been found as far north as Kentucky. the snake likes to live under old rotten wood.

The eastern coral snake is usually around three feet but five foot specimens have been found. Somewhere between 2 - 3 feet is the usual size of most eastern coral snakes.

The eastern coral snake uses a small set of fangs in the upper jaw to deliver their poisonous venom. They are known to feed on smaller snakes, young birds in the nest, and small rodents. Some will also feed on frogs and lizards. Their venom takes time to work and they usually strike their prey and follow it before swallowing their prey.

Coral snakes will hold on while biting and the eastern coral snake accounts for only 1 percent of all snake bites in the United States. A lot of people are bitten by a coral snake while they are moving old wood or gardening. if you ever suspect you have been bitten by a coral snake call 911 at once and tell them you think you were bitten by an eastern coral snake. Remain calm and wait for the ambulance to arrive.

The Eastern Coral Snake should never be kept as a pet snake. It is a very dangerous snake that can kill you. Its venom is extremely toxic and it can quickly kill you.

Notice that the Eastern Coral Snake in this photo is almost hidden. So it is quite easy to be right near one of these snakes and not even notice.
Notice that the Eastern Coral Snake in this photo is almost hidden. So it is quite easy to be right near one of these snakes and not even notice. | Source

Be Warned The Eastern Coral Snake Is A Dangerous Snake

The eastern coral snake possesses one of the most toxic venom's of any venomous snake in the United States. It takes 75 - 100 MG of coral snake venom to kill a human. There are from 15 - 25 eastern coral snake bites in the United States each year.

The venom is very dangerous nerotoxin that paralyzes the breathing muscles of a human and soon after a eastern coral snake bite a human can stop breathing and the person who has been bitten must be put on artificial respiration. The person who has been bitten will need large doses of anti-venom or they will die. Fortunately the eastern coral snake will flee from a human if at all possible. Any type of scratch or penetration by a coral snake requires immediate medical attention. Their is usually only mild pain from a eastern coral snake bite but complete respiratory failure can occur in only a few hours.

If you know their have been eastern coral snakes found in your area use care around rotten wood laying on the ground and if you spot what you think is a eastern coral snake avoid it. If you can see it call the local police or animal control and tell them you suspect you have a coral snake on your property. Do not attempt to pick up a eastern coral snake. You can receive a dangerous bite that can kill you.

If you have to work with rotten wood use a rake to turn over and move the rotten wood around before you pick the old wood up. If you see what you think is a coral snake get away and call the police or animal control. Never try to deal with a eastern coral snake by yourself. The snake can be quite fast and it will try to get away but it will strike if cornered or picked up. If it bites you it may hold onto you and chew. If this happens get away from the snake and call for immediate medical help.

There are other species of coral snakes in the United States and around the world. Some people argue that the coral snake found in Texas is a separate species while it is accepted that the Arizona Coral Snake is indeed a separate species of Coral Snake. All of them are venomous and dangerous and should be avoided. Anti-venom for coral snakes is no longer being manufactured in the United States because there is no money to be made by the drug companies. Coral Snake anti-venom is manufactured in several foreign countries.

If you have comments or questions about the Eastern Coral Snake please post them below in the comment section now. And thanks for reading.

Please post your comments or questions about the Eastern Coral Snake now. And thanks for reading.

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      Lilith 6 years ago

      My 4 year old son was bitten by a western coral snake on April 2, 2011 this year. He had all symptoms except respiratory failure. He was vomiting, sweating profusely, twitching, drooling, couldn't swallow, his eyes drooped as if paralyzed and was so lethargic he was practically comatose. Pfizer no longer makes the anti-venom for coral snake bites as they're so uncommon. What they do now is treat the symptoms. It's a slow moving poison and we were a full 20 hours into the bite before they symptoms took full effect. We made Medical Center history here in Houston. Not only was my son the first to be bitten in 40 years, he was the first child to survive. Luckily, the neurotoxin doesn't cause necrosis as the hemotoxin produced by pit vipers.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      The coral snakes really are deadly. You and your dog both got very lucky, indeed, Puter.

    • puter_dr profile image

      Mike Bouska 6 years ago from Midwest USA

      Thanks, the dog was fine. She grabbed the snake and gave it a good shake and it was over. I guess she was going with pure instinct, as I don't think she had ever encountered a snake before.

    • crazyhorsesghost profile image
      Author

      Thomas Byers 6 years ago from East Coast , United States

      So true. I hope your dog was okay also. And thanks for the comment. It is appreciated.

    • puter_dr profile image

      Mike Bouska 6 years ago from Midwest USA

      I was on the wrong end of one of these things one day clearing brush around my Florida house after a 2004 hurricane. Fortunately my dog was faster than both the snake and I.

      At least with a rattlesnake you get a warning. With these fellas there is no warning.

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