Difference Between Coral Snake and King Snake

Coral snakes and king snakes are two species of snakes found throughout the United States. Both are venomous, but it is important to know the difference between them so that you can identify them correctly. …

Coral snakes and king snakes are two species of snakes found throughout the United States. Both are venomous, but it is important to know the difference between them so that you can identify them correctly.

Coral snakes are small and slender, and are generally found in the southeastern United States. They are brightly colored with bands of yellow, red and black, and are sometimes mistaken for other species of nonvenomous snakes. A good way to remember how to identify a coral snake is to remember the saying “red touch yellow, kill a fellow; red touch black, venom lack.” This means that if the red and yellow bands are touching, the snake is a coral snake and is venomous.

King snakes, on the other hand, are larger than coral snakes, and are found throughout the country. They have bands of black, white and yellow or red, but the red and yellow bands are not adjacent to each other. King snakes are nonvenomous, and are often mistaken for coral snakes.

In addition, coral snakes have a snout that is rounded and blunt, while king snakes have a more pointed snout. Coral snakes also have round pupils, while king snakes have elliptical pupils.

The best way to tell the difference between a coral snake and a king snake is to look at the color pattern and snout shape. If you are still unsure, it is best to leave the snake alone and not attempt to handle it. It is important to remember that both species can be dangerous, and it is best to be cautious when encountering either one.

Coral Snake vs. King Snake: Coloration and Striping

The most obvious difference between a coral snake and a king snake is the coloration and striping. A coral snake typically has a distinct pattern of alternating bands of red, black, and yellow. The yellow bands are usually separated from the red and black bands by a white or cream-colored stripe. In contrast, a king snake has a much more varied pattern of colors and stripes, and can range from completely black to yellow, grey, white, brown, and/or orange. Additionally, king snakes tend to have larger and more distinct stripes than coral snakes.

Coral Snake vs. King Snake: Habitat

The habitats of coral snakes and king snakes can also be markedly different. Coral snakes are usually found in tropical and subtropical habitats, such as swamps, marshes, and sandy areas. On the other hand, king snakes are usually found in more temperate climates and typically inhabit areas like deserts, rocky canyons, and forests. In the United States, coral snakes are found in the southeast, while king snakes are found throughout the country.

Coral Snake vs. King Snake: Behavior and Venom

The behaviors of coral snakes and king snakes are also quite different. Coral snakes are generally quite shy and will attempt to flee if disturbed. When cornered, they will usually rely on their venomous bite as a last resort. King snakes, on the other hand, are generally more bold and will usually attempt to intimidate predators with their size and defensive posturing before resorting to biting.

In terms of venom, only coral snakes have venom that is dangerous to humans. The venom of a coral snake contains neurotoxins that can cause paralysis and even death. King snakes, however, are non-venomous and are actually immune to the venom of coral snakes, which is why they sometimes eat them.

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