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There is no question as to how this snake got its name “ornatissimus.” The pattern and colors are “ornate” to say the least. It is a smallish coral snake of about 40-60 cm, (15-23 in.) although I have measured one 77 cm. (30 in.) long. It has alternating black and red rings of approximately the same width separated by a row of white dots. Many times the red rings will appear quite dark, showing hints of melanism.
This specimen was found in a garden area of the Amazon rainforest in SE Ecuador (700 masl).
It is not uncommon for coral snakes to twitch violently, throwing themselves from side to side and showing a curled tail and the bright colors of the underside when upset, which this one clearly was 😊 (photo #4).
Spotted on Mar 2, 2014
Submitted on Feb 3, 2021
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