Introduction to New World Coralsnakes

New World Coralsnakes are native to North and South America. Three genera are represented (Micrurus, Leptomicrurus, and Micruroides). These venomous snakes are within the family Elapidae.

Coralsnake venom is mainly neurotoxic, although many of them also possess several other types of toxins, including cardiotoxins and cytotoxins. Bites are somewhat uncommon (especially in the U.S.) but do require immediate medical attention.

Like all elapid snakes, coral snakes possess a pair of small hollow fangs to deliver their venom. The fangs are positioned at the front of the mouth. The fangs are fixed in position rather than retractable. (Wikipedia)

 Coralsnakes are shy, retreating, and spend most of their time in loose soil and under leaf litter. Prey consists of lizards, amphibians, other snakes, and possibly mammals. At least one species preys on fish.

(this article also appears in the facebook group within the Units section)


Related:  Introduction to U.S. Coralsnakes


Mike currently lives in New Haven County, CT where he has been studying herpetology (the study of Amphibians & Reptiles) for many years and has worked with state agencies, private agencies and zoos doing herp field work and teaching the public about snake safety and the importance of amphibians and reptiles in the ecosystem. Mike now focuses on herp education through social media and public programs.

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