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Sonoran coralsnake

Micruroides euryxanthus


A small (up to 24"), but long and uniformly slender snake. Red, black, off-white (to yellow) bands encircle the body. Patches of black mottling are sometimes present in the red bands. A red marking usually covers the cloacal scute. Defensive behaviors include hiding the head within the coils, presenting the tail as a "false head," writhing, and forcefully everting the cloaca to produce a popping noise. Consumes small snakes, such as threadsnakes, groundsnakes, shovel-nosed snakes, black-headed snakes, and nightsnakes. Threadsnakes appear to be a preferred food. (from "A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles in Arizona")


This snake was showing an interesting defensive display: cloaca popping (seen in photos #3 and #4). This marks my 300th Project Noah spotting. :-)

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Tukup 9 months ago

Hi Aaron. I don't know if you're still active on Project Noah, but I'm just seeing this as the PN search doesn't work. It would be great if you could add this to my Coral Snake Mission ( Thanks.

rams4d 9 years ago

Excellent, congrats !!!

Mona Pirih
Mona Pirih 10 years ago

Ya, that's very danger.. But very beautiful snake.. Nice capture.

NickIrvine1 10 years ago

I've always liked this rhyme to remember... "It's a snake, leave it alone" ;)

KarenL 10 years ago

Congrats Aaron, this great spotting was one of the stars in our snake quiz yesterday!

KevinBBabbitt 11 years ago

Dang that's one awesome snake

alicelongmartin 11 years ago

lilabner, I do not think the Coral snakes in Florida are particularly agressive. I fished a youngster out of our pool with a net. Did not know what it was until I pulled out the literature at the extension in the library. I let it loose in the leaves at the side of the house. I looked very carefully at it before I released it, but did not handle it.

Nicholas4 11 years ago

very pretty..

DavidMroczkowski 11 years ago

Congratulations! Keep it up, Mr. 300!

lilabner30 11 years ago

Saw one of these while hiking in March in Florida. Although I had my camera in hand, I couldn't have gotten the shot as I was too busy backing up---FAST--and pulling my kids with me! Ha! You should have heard us all yelling "Red touch yellow kill a fellow!" None of us could take our eyes off him as our coral snake was jumping as he was retreating. He was truly startled by our crazy yelling trio. Fun, but scary memory. Thanks for the beautiful picture of an absolutely gorgeous snake!

IoneHealy 11 years ago

My brother told me the way to tell the diff is red next yellow your a dead fellow red next to black your okay jack

tiffanypr 11 years ago

Love the conversation! And great pic!

Aaron_G 11 years ago

I use a 105mm macro lens, which allows me super close-ups without being super close-up. :-) I bought it specifically with venomous snakes in mind. It keeps me well outside the strike zone without compromising the shots I want.

Apple 11 years ago

@Goody--glad to hear you are a snake expert by they way---since a layman should not be attempting to photograph this closely as you have. Beautiful spotting! They really are a beautiful snake.

Apple 11 years ago

@Lisa--that's sad. I hope they were able to be treated.

LisaFP 11 years ago

@Apple---I am a social worker (Child Psychologist) and worked at a children's hospital as a play therapist and I've seen untreated snake bites....terrible....many kids were flown in from Mexico which is literally down the road...

Apple 11 years ago

@Goody--thanks for the details! I was using poisonous as a basic idea but you are correct, venomous is the proper term--digging back to my sophomore zoology courses.

Aaron_G 11 years ago

Here's a non-venomous kingsnake that's found in the exact same area as this particular species of coralsnake. You can compare the colors and patterns of the two.

Aaron_G 11 years ago

Coralsnakes are actually venomous and not poisonous. Some people see this as splitting hairs, but they're actually quite different things. Venom is injected (via fangs or stinger) while poison is ingested (swallowed). You could eat a coralsnake and drink snake venom as long as you don't have any cuts in your mouth or ulcers in your stomach. Being a reptile professional, I'm a stickler for the details. :-)

Apple 11 years ago

@Lisa---you are correct, very poisonous. But coral snakes are pretty timid and generally retreat around have to really be bothering one to get it to bite.

But, be careful, because the rare number of bites has resulted in less anti-venom being produced, so they are even more dangerous than ever.

Apple 11 years ago

They are very poisonous.

I have always remembered the following phrase to tell the Coral Snakes from false corals using colors as protection. "Red next to yellow can kill a fellow, red next to black is a friend of Jack".

It is rare to have a human bit though.

LisaFP 11 years ago

Interesting "false head"!! Red and yellow kill a fellow right? My brother had a coral snake on his front doorstep, he lives in a regular neighborhood, crowded with kids and bikes etc... Don't have to be in the country to see these I guess!

Spotted by

Nogales, Arizona, United States

Spotted on Aug 1, 2007
Submitted on Mar 3, 2012

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