Eastern Coral Snake

Eastern Coral Snake – Micrurus fulvius


The Eastern Coral Snake is also called the American Cobra. It is very dangerous snake due to the potency of the venom that it releases. The good news is that there is an anti venom available so the risk of death or serious damages from such a bite is very low. They are related to both the Cobra and the Mamba.


When full grown this snake is about 30 inches long. The females are the longest and they have a ring like color patterns. There are large sections of red and black. Between them are short segments of yellow rings. The head is black in color and it is small in size. Due to their coloring they are often confused with the Scarlet Snake.


The Southern parts of the United States and the Northern part of Mexico are where the Eastern Coral Snake is found. North and South Carolina are big locations for them. Areas of Florida and Louisiana are also home. They may live up at 1,300 feet or all the way down to sea level.

The tropical areas and the glades are places where they love to hang out and develop their own habitat location. They will also live in dry areas as long as they aren’t heavily vegetated. They have even been found along sandy ridges in some hot areas.

Eastern coral snake or common coral snake
Eastern coral snake / Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Even when this snake bites there is a good chance they won’t inject any venom. They usually only do so in about 40% of the times it strikes. They may strike several times when they do release venom.

They can be very aggressive at times and they can be very calm at other times. It really is a gamble when you come upon them how they will react. Most experts believe that the females are more aggressive than the males. This is especially true if she has eggs that she is getting ready to deposit.

Diet /Feeding

The diet of the Eastern Coral Snake consists of lizards and frogs. They are also known to eat coral snakes and other species of snakes that are around their habitat. They are able to consume many types of food due to the jaws opening up widely. They are able to immobilize the prey with the venom and then they will swallow it whole.

When they consume larger prey they only need to feed every couple of weeks. They will go find a quiet resting place so that they will be able to allow the slow process of digestion to take place.


Late June is when mating will occur. The males will seek out the females and then she will decide if they are going to mate or not. The eggs are laid in June and they hatch in September. There are from 3 to 12 of them in each batch. They will have to care for themselves when they are born.

There is a high mortality rate among the young. Those that do survive will reach the age of maturity around 1 year. The average life span is 7 in captivity.

Venomous Bite /Danger to Humans

The last known death from this snake occurred in 2009. However, experts believe it is because the person didn’t seek medical treatment. There is an anti venom for this particular snake bite. The last deaths prior to this one was in 1950. Death can occur in the first couple of hours after such a bite. Therefore it is important to seek treatment immediately.

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