Genus Leptomicurus, Micruroides, Micrurus, Calliophis, Hemibungarus, Sinomicrurs
Species 81+ species
Coral Snake Basics
The term “coral snake” refers to poisonous snakes in the Elapidae family, which includes six genera and at least 81 species. The New World coral snakes (Leptomicrurus, Micruroides, Micrurus) and the Old World coral snakes (Leptomicrurus, Micruroides, Micrurus) are the two main groups (Calliophis, Hemibungarus, Sinomicrurus). There are around 65 new world coral snake species and 16 Old World coral snake species.
Coral snakes in North America have distinct colour bands of red, yellow, white, and black. In the southwestern United States, this comprises the Eastern or Common coral snake (Micrurus fulvius), the Texas coral snake (Micrurus tener), and the Arizona coral snake (Micruroides euryxanthus). Depending on the species, these bands may be pink, blue, white, or black in other regions of the globe. In fact, several Old World species have no bands at all and are a single hue.
The size of each species varies, although the majority of them are rather tiny. The usual length of North American species is 36 inches (91 cm), with specimens as long as 59 inches (150 cm) sometimes being recorded. Their lifetime in captivity is usually about 7 years.
Diverse and Reclusive
Coral snake behaviour differs greatly due to the large number of species. Most species, on the other hand, are elusive, with many burrowing underground or spending most of their time amid the leaf litter on the forest floor. Some species, such as the South American Aquatic Coral Snake (Micrurus surinamensis), spend most of their time in slow-moving waterways amid aquatic vegetation.
Coral snakes consume tiny animals, amphibians, birds, and sometimes other snake species, although their prey varies. They have two tiny, hollow fangs at the front of their mouths that they use to inject poison into their victims.
Coral snakes lay between 2 and 7 eggs, depending on the species, but little is known about their mating and nesting activities owing to their secretive nature.
They are among the most deadly snakes in the world today. Because the venom’s potent neurotoxins may paralyse the breathing muscles, bites need prompt medical intervention. They are unlikely to bite people because of their solitary lifestyle and preference for distant habitats.
Fun Facts about Coral Snakes!
Because there are so many different kinds of coral snakes, they enable the study of apparently infinite and intriguing biological concepts like mimicry.
Looks That Could Kill
Coral snakes are poisonous reptiles. They employ brilliant colours, like many other venomous or dangerous species, to warn other animals not to go too close. Interestingly, while not having the same protection as these species, there are numerous instances of animals that may replicate their colours.
In the animal realm, there are a few different types of mimicry. An undefended species evolves to mirror another through Batesian mimicry to escape being eaten by predators that have learnt to shun creatures that look like them. The coral snake (Lampropeltis elapsoides) is closely resembled by the scarlet king snake (Lampropeltis elapsoides). It is not deadly, but its association with the more hazardous coral snake helps it.
Humans, for example, have devised a number of puzzles to help them figure out the difference in a pinch. For example, “Yellow on Black is a buddy of Jack,” for example, alluding to the sequence of the colour bands on the animals. “Red on Yellow” will kill a guy. Unsurprisingly, these tactics’ dependability has been called into question.
Would you use this puzzle to cope with a possibly dangerous snake if there were so many kinds of coral snakes and up to 150 mimic species?
Coral Snake Tail, Scale, and Fin
Natural selection is a phenomenon that permits animals to pass on adaptations that provide them with a survival advantage from generation to generation. When an animal develops a property that permits it to thrive in its environment as a result of a random mutation, that feature is passed on to the next generation, and so on.
Some water-dwelling coral snakes, for example, have developed flat tails that serve as fins. This enables them to swim far more efficiently than their terrestrial counterparts, who have slender, sharp tails.
Coral Snake Origins in the Orient
Although the New World species seem to get the most attention, the Old World species really came earlier. In reality, genetic research has shown that the oldest coral snake lineages originated in Asia. Some surviving Asian species have solid colours rather than banded patterns, which sets them apart from their New World relatives.