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 ?
The vaccine does not protect against venom from Cottonmouths, Mojave Rattlesnakes, or Coral snakes. In 2012, Red Rock Biologies began developing a vaccine for the Eastern Diamondback and similar species.
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.
What features help you distinguish between a scarlet king snake and an eastern coral snake?
'Coral Snake' can also be read as a metaphor for the emergence in the poet's field of vision of a beautiful image that both fascinates and terrifies: it has the potential to be transformed into that work of beauty which is a joy forever that all poets dream of, or it is an image that remains inaccessible, not emerging from the mind but fomenting within the poet as a spreading poison, and when it is finally forced to appear, it is in some inelegant, deformed form.
I was reminded of this the other day when the EMS brought in a seven year old boy who was bitten by a coral snake.
There were the copperhead (mainly confined to the North Florida prairies, I was relieved to discover); the water moccasin, with its nasty temper and horrible, gaping white mouth; the deadly rattler; and most venomous of all, the red--yellow--and black-striped coral snake, easy to confuse with a more benign species, the book warned, unless you knew that its red and yellow bands were always adjacent to each other--thus the helpful rhyme, "Red and yellow will kill a fellow."
a single coral snake resoldered around a gemless arm
Normally, however, vivid colors indicate either sex, as when dazzling male birds seek mates and blazing flowers call for pollinators, or danger, as when the red, yellow, and black of a coral snake signal its power to deliver a fatal bite, or the gorgeous wings of distasteful or poisonous butterflies warn off would-be predators Leaves of a few of Barro Colorado's trees turn scarlet before falling, but the full glory of fall colors found in Vermont, Virginia, or in a forest of Japanese maples is not found in Panama.
For example, avian predators seem to avoid models having coral snake ringed patterns (Smith 1977; Brodie 1993) and certain other ringed patterns (Smith 1975; Brodie and Janzen 1995; Hinman and others 1997) when compared to uniformly colored models.
The harmless milk snake, for example, resembles the poisonous coral snake with its bright red, yellow, and black bands.