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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 of: July 1, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
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