coral snake

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coral snake,

name for poisonous New World snakes of the same family as the Old World cobrascobra,
name for African and Asian snakes of the family Elapidae that are equipped with inflatable neck hoods. The family also includes the African mambas, the Asian kraits, the New World coral snakes and a large number of Australian snakes.
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. About 30 species inhabit Mexico, Central America, and N South America; two are found in the United States. The Eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius), or harlequin snake, is found in the SE United States and N Mexico. It is a burrowing snake with a small, blunt head and a cylindrical body, averaging 2 1-2 ft (75 cm) in length. The body is ringed with bands of black, red, and yellow; the tail has yellow and black rings only. The Sonoran, or Western, coral snake (Micruroides euryxanthus) is a rather rare species found in the SW United States and NW Mexico. It is about 18 in. (45 cm) long and has much broader bands of yellow than those of the Eastern species. Coral snakes can be distinguished from a number of similarly colored harmless snakes by the fact that they are the only ones with red bands touching yellow ones. The venom of coral snakes, like that of cobras, acts on the nervous system and causes paralysis; the mortality rate among humans who are bitten is high. However, coral snakes are infrequently encountered because of their burrowing habits, and they seldom bite unless handled. They feed on other snakes and on lizards. Coral snakes are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Squamata, family Elapidae.

coral snake

its bite is deadly. [Zoology: NCE, 654]
References in periodicals archive ?
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, the company that provided the Eastern Coral Snake antivenom, decided several years ago to suspend manufacturing it for reasons the company has neither released nor confirmed publicly.
Venom researchers in Texas are now studying a possible Mexican substitute for Wyeth's coral snake antivenom, but if or until it becomes available, RTs in areas where Eastern and Texas Coral snakebites occur need to become aware of some of the issues surrounding this type of bite.
Coral snakes are in the family Elapidae and are found in the southeastern United States, Mexico, Central and South America.
Coral snakes were positively identified only by an expert, a treating physician, or by the detailed description told to the poison center staff.
Coral snake mimicry: live snakes not avoided by a mammalian predator.
Differential avoidance of coral snake banded patterns by free-ranging avian predators in Costa Rica.
This is probably not based on predators having previous experience with coral snakes, because all it takes is one bite and you're dead.
The researchers predicted that the protective effect of looking like a coral snake would break down in those areas where poisonous coral snakes were absent.
He said: "There are also a number of 'false' coral snakes, which are not poisonous, and people are much more likely to keep them.
A smaller fraction of bites comes from copperheads, fewer still come from cottonmouths and only three or four bites per year come from coral snakes.
Although coral snakes have a poisonous bite, they are perfectly handleable if people know what the problem is.
Desert and Local pain, Three coral snake arid sub - species savanna: swelling, recognised: Aspidelaps southwestern lymphangitis; mildly lubricus lubricus South Africa, neurotoxic; bites (southern race), through not well documented Aspidelaps lubricus Namibia infuscatus (central race) to southern and Aspidelaps lubricus Angola cowlesi (northern race) Aspidelaps scutatus.