Eastern Coral Snake
This snake is normally about 20 to 30 inches long, and the males are typically much longer than the females. This species is characterized by red, black, and yellow rings which encircle the body. The snout is black followed by a yellow band and another black band, followed by a red band and another yellow band, the pattern goes on… The bodyspan of this snake will double in less than two years after it hatches. This snake will typically live no longer than 7 years.
There are several non poisonous snakes that have similar color patter to the eastern coral snake. Yet it is important to remember that a venomous coral snake will have a yellow ring on both sides of each red ring.
This snake species is found in the lowland area of southern North Carolina to Southern Florida and Key Largo. They may also be found in the Gulf States to Western Central Mississippi and Louisiana. There also exists a population in Alabama. Their habitat usually consists of pine and scrub oak habitats but sometimes hardwood areas and pine Flatwoods.
The Eastern Coral snake is rarely seen crawling above the ground. They rarely climb trees and often stay concealed. They are typically out and about though in the spring and fall. This species eats small lizards and snakes, and that includes members of its own species. It also eats birds, frogs, and fish.
Its coloration warns off most predators, but when provoked the snake will put its head into its coil. If they bite however, the venom is neurotoxic, which means it will cause paralysis and respiratory failure.
The Eastern Coral snake will mate in the spring and fall. The snakes may actually be aggressive towards each other. Female gestation period is about 70 – 90 days long. When the females lay eggs, 2 – 13 are laid in underground nests from May to July. They will hatch around August or September.