Difference Between Red And Black Venom

Venomous creatures have fascinated humans forever. While some of these creatures have a beautiful appearance, they can also be quite dangerous. Snakes are one of the most popular venomous creatures. The venom they release while bitten can be harmful to humans and other animals. Generally, there are two types of venom released by snakes, red and black venom. In this article, we will discuss the difference between red and black venom and the snakes that carry them.

What is Venom?

Before we delve deeper into the discussion, let’s first understand what venom is? Venom is a toxin that is injected by some animals like snakes, scorpions, spiders, bees, and cone snails. The toxin is released through specialized glands and can have different effects. Some venoms can cause paralysis, while others can lead to extreme pain, nausea or even death. Even other venoms, like that produced from the garter snakes, have little or no effect on humans.

Types of Venom

As mentioned earlier, there are two types of venom released by snakes. These are red and black venom. Let’s take a closer look at each:

Red Venom

Red venom, also known as neurotoxic venom, affects the nervous system of the victim. It primarily targets the musculature system, causing paralysis and breathing difficulty, leading to death. Red venom snakes are some of the deadliest in the world. They include black mambas, king cobras, etc.

Black Venom

Black venom is also known as hemotoxic venom, damaging the blood and tissue of the victim leading to swelling and internal bleeding. Black venom snakes are less deadly compared to their red-venomous counterparts, such as Cottonmouths or Vipers. Cottonmouths are a type of viper and are considered to have one of the most dangerous black venom.

What Makes The Venoms Different?

The difference between the red and black venom is the type of toxins contained in the venom. Red venom contains neurotoxic venom, which targets the nervous system of the victim, while black venom contains hemotoxic venom, which mainly attacks the blood and tissue, causing swelling and internal bleeding. In most cases, snakes with red venom will be more venomous and deadly than those with black venom.

Red Venomous Snake

As mentioned earlier, red venomous snakes typically contain neurotoxic venom. Black mambas and king cobras are some of the deadliest snakes in the world and contain red venom. They can cause paralysis and death within an hour of biting. Other red venomous snakes include taipans, tiger snakes, and coral snakes. Coral snakes are found only in America and have some of the most potent neurotoxins in the world.

Black Venomous Snake

On the other hand, black venomous snakes like Cottonmouths, vipers, and rattlesnakes contain hemotoxic venom, which mainly causes swelling and internal bleeding. The venom breaks down the red blood cells and causes tissue damage, leading to the destruction of the muscles and organs around the bite area. The venomous effect can expand to other body parts, leading to severe damage. Examples of black venomous snakes include copperheads and the Mojave rattlesnakes.


In conclusion, understanding the difference between red and black venom is essential so that you know what to expect if you happen to get bitten by a venomous snake. Red venom contains neurotoxic toxins, which affect the nervous system, leading to paralysis, while black venom contains hemotoxic toxins that cause swelling and internal bleeding. Red venomous snakes like black mambas and king cobras are some of the deadliest in the world, while black venomous snakes like Cottonmouths and vipers cause less deadly bites. Always be careful when around venomous snakes, and never attempt to handle them without professional help. With this knowledge, you can take steps to protect yourself from these venomous creatures while enjoying the great outdoors.