Monday, March 5, 2012
Animal Tips for Writers: Coral Snakes
The coral snake is one of four kinds of venomous snake your hero can encounter in the United States. Due to its red, yellow/white, and black bands, it resembles scarlet snakes, scarlet kingsnakes, and red milk snakes and some other harmless snakes. However, with the American coral nake, the red bands are separated from the black bands by a band of yellow/white, while harmless look-a-likes usually have red bands touching their black bands. The coral snake grows up to thirty inches long.
Coral snakes are most common in the southeastern United States, but are rarely seen due to their reclusive behavior. Unlike the other venomous snakes in America, they clamp down on their victim and chew to fully inject their venom, instead of striking and then letting go. Coral snakes are infrequently encountered and are less likely to bite than other venomous snakes in the United States, but if they do bite their venom is quite potent. Due to the infrequency of bites, antivenom is apparently in short supply since there is little demand, but one hopes that there is enough on hand should someone be bitten.
(c) 2012 Jonathan Garner