Difference between Coral Snake And Kingsnake

Coral snakes and kingsnakes are both members of the Colubridae family, but they differ in several ways. Coral snakes have a bright red or yellow-and-black striped banded pattern on their bodies, while kingsnakes typically have black bands with white markings or blotches between them. The main difference is that coral snakes are venomous whereas kingsnakes are non-venomous.

In addition to this, coral snake heads tend to be more triangular shaped than those of the kingsnake which usually look like a smooth egg shape. Another way to differentiate between these two species is by their size; coral snakes grow up to three feet long while Kingsnakes can reach lengths as long as five feet. Lastly, when threatened, Coral Snakes will coil into a tight ball and raise up its head while Kingsnakes will flatten out their body and hiss loudly instead.

Coral snakes and kingsnakes are both members of the same snake family, but they look very different. Coral snakes have a distinctive pattern of red, yellow or white stripes on their bodies, while kingsnakes have black bands with lighter-colored rings around them. Additionally, coral snakes produce a neurotoxin venom that is dangerous to humans if not treated quickly; however, kingsnakes do not possess this trait and are harmless to people.

Knowing how to tell the difference between these two types of snakes can be important when hiking in areas where they co-exist!

Difference between Coral Snake And Kingsnake

Credit: www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu

How Can You Tell a Kingsnake from a Coral Snake?

Kingsnakes and coral snakes look quite similar, but there are a few ways to tell them apart. Kingsnakes have round pupils in their eyes while coral snakes usually have vertical slitted pupils. Kingsnakes also tend to be more slender with black, red, and yellow bands that do not touch each other whereas the bands on a coral snake will all connect.

Additionally, you can remember the saying “red touches yellow, kills a fellow” as this phrase helps distinguish between kingsnakes (which have no red touching yellow) and coral snakes (which do).

How Can You Tell the Poisonous Coral Snake from the Nonpoisonous Scarlet King Snake?

The most well-known way to tell the difference between a poisonous coral snake and a nonpoisonous scarlet king snake is by using the rhyme, “Red touch yellow, kill a fellow. Red touch black, venom lack” which refers to the coloration of both snakes. The coral snake typically has alternating bands of red, yellow and black while the scarlet king snake has similar colors but arranged differently with wider red bands that are separated by thin yellow or white stripes. Additionally, if you can see their faces clearly enough then another distinguishing feature would be that the coral snakes have round eyes while those on a king snake are oval-shaped.

How Do You Tell If a Snake is a King Snake?

King snakes can be identified by their distinctive black and white or yellow stripes running down the length of their bodies. They have a large head, round eyes, and a short tail compared to other species of snake. Additionally, king snakes are typically non-venomous, so they lack the triangular shaped heads that venomous snakes possess.

It is also important to note that not all king snakes will display the same patterning; some may have alternating light and dark bands on their body while others may just have one solid color. Lastly, if you come across a snake in nature and are unsure what kind it is, it’s best to keep your distance as most wild snakes should be left alone unless absolutely necessary.

What Snake is Mistaken for a Coral Snake?

The most common snake mistaken for a coral snake is the Scarlet Kingsnake. This species of non-venomous colubrid snake looks very similar to the dangerous and venomous coral snakes due to having bright red, black and yellow banding along its body. However, there are some distinguishing characteristics between these two types of snakes.

The Scarlet Kingsnake has bands that always alternate in order—a pattern of red-black-yellow or yellow-red-black—while the Coral Snake’s color order can be either red-yellow-black or yellow-red black. Additionally, both the heads and tails on a Coral Snake appear black at all times, while those on a Scarlet Kingsnake will have white tips near their ends.

How to Tell the Difference Between a King Snake and a Coral Snake

Coral Snake Rhyme

The Coral Snake rhyme is a mnemonic used to differentiate between the venomous coral snake and the non-venomous king snake. The rhyme goes “Red touch yellow, kill a fellow; red touch black, friend of Jack”. It refers to how if you look at the color bands on these two snakes, a coral snake will have alternating bands of red and yellow while a king snake will have alternating bands of black and red.

Knowing this can be important in order to identify which one is poisonous so it’s best to remember this simple phrase!

Coral Snake And King Snake Mimicry

The mimicry of coral snakes and king snakes is a fascinating phenomenon in the animal kingdom. Although both species are quite similar in size, coloration, and appearance, they differ greatly in terms of their venomous nature: while coral snakes have potent neurotoxins that can cause severe illness or death when bitten by humans, king snakes are non-venomous and harmless to humans. Despite these differences, king snakes have evolved certain characteristics – such as black rings with red bands between them – which closely resemble those of their more dangerous counterparts; this helps protect them from potential predators who may mistake them for the much more deadly coral snake.

King Snake Vs Coral Snake Saying

King Snakes and Coral Snakes are both members of the Colubridae family, but they can be easily distinguished by their physical appearance. King Snakes typically have black, white, or yellow bands that go around their entire body. They also have a glossy sheen to their scales.

On the other hand, Coral Snakes have vivid red, yellow and black rings that encircle its body with alternating patterns. These snakes also do not possess a glossy sheen like King Snakes do. Additionally, it is important to note that the order in which these colors appear on both species will help you differentiate between them: “red touches yellow , kills a fellow; red touches black , friend of Jack”.

Coral Snake Vs Milk Snake Rhyme

The classic rhyme used to distinguish between the venomous coral snake and its harmless look-alike, the milk snake, is a great way to remember which one is which. The saying goes “Red touch yellow, kill a fellow; red touch black, friend of Jack.” This refers to the distinct color patterns found on both species: red bands touching yellow bands indicate that it’s a coral snake while red bands touching black bands mean it’s a milk snake.

Coral Snake Vs King Snake Vs Milk Snake

Coral snakes, king snakes, and milk snakes are all members of the Colubridae family. While they may look similar due to their brightly colored markings, there is a way to tell them apart: coral snakes have red bands bordered by yellow or white stripes; king snakes have alternating black and white bands; and milk snakes typically have a series of red-brown blotches on their backs with black borders. Additionally, coral snake venom is more toxic than that of either the king snake or the milk snake.

Coral Snake Bite

Coral snake bites are rare and potentially life-threatening. The venom of a coral snake contains neurotoxins that can cause paralysis or even death if not treated quickly with antivenom. If bitten by a coral snake, it is important to seek medical help immediately; you should also try to identify the type of snake so that medical professionals can provide the correct treatment.

It is important to remember that most snakes found in North America are harmless, so don’t panic if you come across one!

Coral Snake Range

Coral snakes are found throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas, ranging from South America all the way to southern parts of the United States. In the US, they are mostly found in Florida and along the Gulf Coast states, while they can also be found as far west as Arizona. Their range extends through Central American countries such as Mexico and Belize before entering South American nations like Colombia and Brazil.

Generally speaking, coral snakes prefer warm climates with plenty of moisture where they can hide beneath leaf litter or amongst other vegetation.


This blog post has provided a comprehensive overview of the differences between coral snakes and kingsnakes. While these two species are both part of the same family, they differ in many ways, from their size and coloration to their habitats and diets. In addition, it is important to note that coral snakes have venom which can be dangerous while kingsnakes do not.

By understanding the distinctions between these two types of snakes, you can better appreciate both species for what they are: fascinating animals with unique characteristics!

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