Coral Snakes

Name a snake in the Sonoran Desert that’s venom is more potent than a rattlesnake. If you answered gopher snake, sorry. Not it. If you named king snake, go research your snakes. Neither are venomous. The answer is the Coral Snake. A Coral Snake? What’s that, you ask? If you didn’t ask that, never mind that order to go research your snakes.

A Coral Snake is one of the most brightly colored snakes in the Sonoran Desert. Normally about a foot long and the width of a pencil - or the width of a skinny pinkey finger - they don’t look that venomous. If anything, they look a bit comical and somewhat cute. You can think that. Just don’t pick one up for a closer look. Side note - most snake bites are on the hands.

Coral snakes live in many different places in the world. The US has two: the Eastern Coral Snake and the Western Coral Snake. You can probably guess which lives where. Other species can be found in Africa, Australia, and Asia. There’s a pattern here…

The Western Coral Snake is the species found here in Arizona. Also known as the Arizona Coral Snake and the Sonoran Coral Snake, these snakes are one of the most brightly colored creatures in the desert. Branded with red, white, and black, the Coral Snake gives predators a fighting chance to avoid them. The Coral snake normally moves at dawn and dusk, although some of the year they’ll stay out all night

If you happen to see a Coral Snake, count yourself lucky. They’re secretive, spending most of their time underground. A bright splash on the dull desert floor, the Coral Snake is one of the more interesting creatures in the Sonoran Desert that most people don’t know about. Congratulate yourself. You now know more about the Coral Snake than the greater percentage of the population.

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