Coral Snake

Coral snakes are found in tropical regions of North America and are often confused with nonpoisonous (nonvenomous) milk snakes because they look similar. Coral snakes have red bands with yellow rings on either side. Milk snakes have red bands with black rings on either side. Some people learn the difference by…

Coral Snake

Photographs of a coral snake and a milk snake.

Coral snakes are found in tropical regions of North America and are often confused with nonpoisonous (nonvenomous) milk snakes because they look similar.

Coral snakes have red bands with yellow rings on either side. Milk snakes have red bands with black rings on either side. Some people learn the difference by memorizing a short rhyme: "Red on yellow, kill a fellow. Red on black, venom lack."

Coral snake source: NASA John C. Stennis Space Center

Milk snake source: U.S.G.S. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

Current as ofJune 26, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Sean P. Bush, MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine, Envenomation Specialist

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