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What Does the Coral Snake Eat?

Updated on July 4, 2011

What Are They?

Coral snakes are tiny, wonderfully colored snakes which are often seen with rings or bands of red, yellow and black or white along their trunks. Other snakes with bright colors around the globe are also called coral snakes. Coral snakes are found in almost all continents like Asia, Africa, America, Australia and many more.

Usually, they are slim and slender and they also tend to be the nocturnal kind. When they are provoked, or threatened, they are usually seen to curve their tails in a tight spiral form, which indicates that they are not in a good mood.

These creatures belong to the Elapidae family of animals. They have short pangs at the front of their oral cavities and they are able to produce a neurotoxin venomous chemical. But then, they don’t usually bite or sting, unless they are provoked. A lot of harmless snakes portray the same way with the coral snakes to defend themselves from predators.

What Do They Eat?

So basically, we are here to talk about what these Coral snakes eat.

  1. First on the list are Reptiles. They are the largest bulk of the diet of many snakes all over the world, and at least half of the snake specie depends on consuming reptiles.
  2. Second are Lizards. They can come in forms of skinks, geckos, tiny iguanas and they are abundant in particular habitats that are common to Coral snakes. Due to this fact, they can serve are reservoirs to Coral snakes. They are also the most defenceless which becomes very good preys. Coral snakes can strangle, catch, bite, overpower and swallow them effortlessly.
  3. Third on the list are Snakes. This is true that snakes eat their kind. After all, what better form of animal can snakes eat that can easily fit their own shape? The fact is, most snakes that eat lizards are also eating snakes. It can be termed cannibalism.
  4. Fourth on the list are Birds. Obviously, birds can give snakes two problems- For one, how to catch them and second, how to take a hold of them though their layers of feathers. With this reason, Coral snakes tend to develop special hunting techniques in dealing with birds. They do this by hanging in the air through trees, heads down while waiting for a bird to pass nearby. They do a very swift and accurate strike, with their sensory abilities that uses sensing of body heat that tend to get in the vicinity. They also use their smelling and ocular sense. More often than not, nesting birds are more common victims since they are the most helpless.
  5. Fifth are Mice. These mammals are commonly fed on by medium to large Coral snakes. Rodents are also main preys in areas where they are prominent.

Their Food Preference

What they eat throughout their lifetime is not really the same type of food. They can change their prey preferences as they change in size. Commonly, as the Coral snake goes larger, they tend to shift from the smaller lizards to bigger mammals and birds.

Coral Snake in Action

Coral Snakes Stuff from the Internet

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    • Florida Guy profile image

      Chen 6 years ago

      Sure! I'd be glad if you add me up as well. :-)

    • daryl2007 profile image

      daryl2007 6 years ago

      You are welcome Florida...add me up

    • Florida Guy profile image

      Chen 6 years ago

      Thank you for the additional information, daryl2007! :-)

    • daryl2007 profile image

      daryl2007 6 years ago

      Coral snake eat small fish and microbes...