Texas Coral Snake Texas Coral Snake
Micrurus tener


22-47 1/2" (55.9-120.7 cm). Body encircled by wide red and black rings separated by narrow yellow rings. Head uniformly black from tip of blunt snout to just behind eyes. Random black spots in red rings. Scales smooth and shiny, in 15 rows. Anal plate divided.


Coral snakes belong to the same family as the highly venomous cobras, kraits, mambas, and sea snakes. Unlike vipers and pit vipers, coral snakes have fangs that are fixed in position on the front part of the upper jaw and cannot be folded back. Coral snake venom is strongly neurotoxic, affecting the victim’s nervous and respiratory systems, and bites can be fatal. Do not handle these snakes!
Several harmless snakes have color patterns resembling that of the coral snakes. Coral snakes always have a blunt black snout and red, yellow, and black rings that completely encircle the body. There is a yellow ring on both sides of every red ring. Remember: "Red touch yellow, kill a fellow." The harmless Scarlet Kingsnake (a race of Milk Snake) looks like a coral snake but has a red snout, and the red and yellow rings are separated by black rings: "Red touch black, friend of Jack." In the nonvenomous Scarlet Snake, the rings don't completely circle the body as they do in coral snakes, the belly is white, the snout is red and pointed, and the red areas are ringed in black. How to avoid and treat snakebites


Reportedly lays 3-12 eggs in June; young hatch in September, at 7-9" (18-23 cm).


Near ponds or streams in hardwood forests; pine flatwoods; rocky hillsides and canyons.

Texas Coral Snake


Southern Arkansas, w. Louisiana, s. Texas into ne. Mexico.


This species was formerly considered a subspecies of the Eastern Coral Snake. Like its kin, it is highly venomous and should never be harrassed or handled.