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Texas Coralsnake (Micrurus tener)
Snakes Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Texas Coral Snake (Micrurus tener)

Caution: this snake can kill you.

General Description: A long, thin, snake marked with red, yellow, and black bands. The red and yellow bands are adjacent ("red and yellow -- kill a fellow"), and the snout is black (black lips bring the kiss of death). Black flecks in the red bands can obscure the red color, some snakes are all black, and some species of coral snake have white bands rather than yellow.

Taxonomy: Cobra Family (Elaphidae)

Technical Description: Females can grow to over 3 feet, males are smaller. No distinct neck.

Texas Coral Snake (Micrurus tener)
These snakes tend to hide their head

Diet: Primarily other snakes, also lizards.

Habitat:

Range: Coastal and south Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and south into Mexico.

Texas Coral Snake (Micrurus tener)
The tail lacks red bands

Breeding:

Similar Species: Other southern and southeastern coral snakes are similar, but the Arizona coral snake is more clearly red, white (not yellow), and black.

Comments: This snake can kill you. The venom is a neurotoxin that works to paralyze the breathing muscles. The death rate is about 10% overall (including dry bites), although perhaps 40% for people who are actually injected with venom.

Although not always correct, remember the ditty: Red on yellow -- kill a fellow; red on black, friend of jack. Another version is Red touches yellow, dangerous fellow; red touches black, friend to Jack. Also, even more conservatively: A black nose brings the kiss of death.

Texas Coral Snake (Micrurus tener)
Easy to see red/yellow/black bands in this photos ...
Texas Coral Snake (Micrurus tener)
... but in dim lighting, it looks more like this
Texas Coral Snake (Micrurus tener)
Note the black flecks that can obscure the red
Texas Coral Snake (Micrurus tener)
My finger 4 minutes after a bite (more)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 101225

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