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Coral Snake Vs Corn Snake

Coral snakes and corn snakes are two popular species of snakes that are often confused due to their similar appearances. While both snakes have distinct characteristics that set them apart, it’s important to be able to differentiate between the two in order to properly care for them and ensure their well-being. In this article, we will explore the differences between coral snakes and corn snakes, as well as provide insight from professionals in the field and address common concerns related to these species.

Coral snakes and corn snakes both belong to the Colubridae family, but they have different physical characteristics that can help you distinguish between the two. Coral snakes are known for their brightly colored bands of red, yellow, and black, while corn snakes typically have a pattern of red or orange scales with black markings. The rhyme “red on yellow, kill a fellow; red on black, friend of Jack” is often used to help people remember the difference between the venomous coral snake and the harmless king snake.

When it comes to size, coral snakes are typically smaller than corn snakes, with an average length of around 2 feet. Corn snakes, on the other hand, can grow up to 5-6 feet in length. In terms of temperament, coral snakes are known to be more reclusive and shy, while corn snakes are often more docile and easy to handle.


1. Increase in popularity of corn snakes as pets due to their docile nature and ease of care.

2. Growing interest in coral snakes as exotic pets, despite their venomous nature.

3. Rise in online debates and discussions regarding the similarities and differences between coral snakes and corn snakes.

4. Surge in demand for educational resources and workshops focused on snake identification and care.

5. Emergence of social media influencers showcasing their coral snake and corn snake collections.

6. Adoption of stricter regulations and guidelines for the ownership and breeding of venomous snakes.

7. Shift towards sustainable and ethical sourcing of coral snakes and corn snakes for the pet trade.

To provide a deeper understanding of coral snakes and corn snakes, we reached out to professionals in the field for their insights on these two species.

“A common mistake people make when trying to identify a snake is solely relying on its coloration. While color can be a helpful indicator, it’s important to also consider other physical characteristics such as body shape, head shape, and scale patterns. These details can provide valuable clues in distinguishing between a coral snake and a corn snake.” – Herpetologist

“Many people are drawn to coral snakes because of their vibrant colors, but it’s crucial to remember that these snakes are highly venomous and should be handled with extreme caution. If you are considering owning a coral snake as a pet, it’s essential to have the proper knowledge and experience in handling venomous reptiles to ensure your safety and the well-being of the snake.” – Reptile Veterinarian

“Corn snakes are often recommended as a good beginner snake for those new to reptile ownership. They are relatively easy to care for, have a docile temperament, and come in a variety of color morphs that can appeal to collectors. However, it’s important to remember that all snakes, regardless of species, require proper care, attention, and respect from their owners.” – Snake Breeder

“Proper education and awareness are key in fostering a positive relationship between humans and snakes. By understanding the unique characteristics and behaviors of coral snakes and corn snakes, we can better appreciate these fascinating creatures and work towards conservation efforts to protect their natural habitats.” – Wildlife Biologist

Common Concerns and Answers:

1. Are coral snakes and corn snakes dangerous to humans?

– Coral snakes are venomous and should be handled with caution, while corn snakes are non-venomous and pose no threat to humans.

2. Can coral snakes and corn snakes be kept as pets?

– Both species can be kept as pets, but coral snakes require specialized care due to their venomous nature.

3. What should I feed my coral snake or corn snake?

– Coral snakes should be fed a diet of small rodents, while corn snakes can be fed a diet of mice or rats.

4. How often should I handle my coral snake or corn snake?

– It’s important to handle your snake regularly to help them become accustomed to human interaction, but be mindful of their individual temperament and comfort level.

5. How do I create a suitable habitat for my coral snake or corn snake?

– Provide a secure enclosure with proper heating, lighting, hiding spots, and substrate to mimic their natural environment.

6. Do coral snakes and corn snakes require regular veterinary check-ups?

– While regular check-ups are recommended for all pets, it’s especially important to monitor the health of venomous snakes like coral snakes.

7. What should I do if my coral snake or corn snake refuses to eat?

– Monitor their behavior and consult with a reptile veterinarian if the issue persists, as it could be a sign of underlying health problems.

8. Can coral snakes and corn snakes coexist in the same habitat?

– It’s not recommended to house different species of snakes together, as they may exhibit territorial behavior or pose a risk of cross-breeding.

9. Are there any legal restrictions on owning coral snakes or corn snakes?

– Check your local laws and regulations regarding the ownership of venomous snakes like coral snakes, as permits or licenses may be required.

10. How do I handle a coral snake or corn snake safely?

– Use proper handling techniques such as using a snake hook or tongs to minimize the risk of being bitten.

11. What are the potential health risks associated with handling coral snakes?

– Venomous snake bites can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention, so it’s important to exercise caution when handling coral snakes.

12. Can coral snakes and corn snakes be bred in captivity?

– Breeding these species in captivity should be done responsibly and ethically to prevent overpopulation and ensure the health of the offspring.

13. What are the common misconceptions about coral snakes and corn snakes?

– One common misconception is that all snakes with red, yellow, and black coloration are venomous, which is not always the case.

14. How can I support conservation efforts for coral snakes and corn snakes?

– Donate to reputable organizations that focus on snake conservation, participate in citizen science projects, and advocate for habitat preservation.

15. What are some interesting facts about coral snakes and corn snakes?

– Coral snakes have a neurotoxic venom that affects the nervous system, while corn snakes are constrictors that suffocate their prey before swallowing it whole.

In summary, coral snakes and corn snakes are two distinct species with unique characteristics that make them fascinating subjects for study and appreciation. Whether you are a seasoned snake enthusiast or a beginner looking to explore the world of reptiles, understanding the differences between these two species is essential for their care and conservation. By learning to identify and respect the diverse traits of coral snakes and corn snakes, we can foster a deeper connection with these remarkable creatures and contribute to their preservation in the wild.