King Vs Coral Snake

King vs Coral Snake – A Battle of Reptilian Titans

Snakes have been one of the most intriguing and mysterious creatures to roam the earth. The presence of the venomous snakes has puzzled mankind since time immemorial. Among the venomous snakes, king and coral snakes are two of the most commonly talked about species. Both snakes are highly venomous and known for their distinctive and colorful appearance. In this article, we will discuss the differences between the king snake and the coral snake and their distinguishing characteristics.

What is a King Snake?

The king snake boasts a shiny skin appearance, with a width that is thicker than a coral snake. The King Snake has an appetite for small animals, and its powerful constriction ability allows it to easily kill and devour its prey. The King Snake is endemic in the African and American regions, and even though it is highly venomous, it is known to be non-aggressive towards humans.

What is a Coral Snake?

The Coral Snake is a highly venomous creature that is known for its distinctive red, yellow, and black striped pattern. The Coral Snake is native to the North and South American region and is considered the most venomous snake in the United States. Its venom contains neurotoxins, which can cause muscular paralysis and even death. The Coral Snake has a small head, and its body is typically thin and elongated.

How to differentiate King Snake from Coral Snake?

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of differentiating the two is the color pattern. The Coral Snake’s trademark pattern is the red, yellow, and black stripes, while the King Snake has black and white stripes. However, this distinction can be challenging, as a few non-poisonous snake species have a similar pattern. A quick way to differentiate the two is to remember the rhyme, “Red touch black, friend of Jack; red touch yellow, kill a fellow.” This phrase refers to the Coral Snake’s red and yellow stripes, which are adjacent to one another, signifying its poison. In comparison, the King Snake’s white color stripes are adjacent to the black stripes.

Another way to differentiate the two is their head shape. Coral Snake’s head is short and narrow, while King Snake’s head is a bit wider. Also, the King Snake is thicker and a bit more robust than the Coral Snake.

Lastly, the behavior of both species differs significantly. The King Snake is known to be non-aggressive and avoids human interaction, while the Coral Snake is considered highly venomous and dangerous. In the case of the Coral Snake, its venom can cause serious health implications from seizures, muscle stiffness, and respiratory failure.


Which snake is more dangerous – King or Coral?

The Coral Snake is considered to be the more dangerous of the two, mainly due to its incredibly venomous nature. The venom of the Coral Snake contains neurotoxins that attack the nervous system, causing respiratory failure or muscular paralysis. On the other hand, the King Snake’s venom contains mild toxins and is not considered as dangerous, although it could still lead to swelling or mild allergic reactions.

What are the best ways to avoid snake bites?

The surest way to avoid snake bites is to stay alert when walking in areas known for snakes. Wear protective clothing, such as boots or long trousers, to prevent skin contact with the snakes. Also, avoid treading carelessly through tall grasses or bushes where snakes might hide. Finally, it is important to educate oneself on the differences between different kinds of snakes and avoid coming face to face with dangerous species.

How to treat a snake bite?

In the event of a snake bite, it is essential to stay calm and seek immediate medical attention. Do not try to suck out the venom or cut the snake bite. Instead, wash the bitten area with soap and water and cover the wound with a sterile bandage. It is also advisable to immobilize the limb by creating a splint and lying down immediately, reducing physical activity to minimize the venom’s spread.


In conclusion, the King Snake and the Coral Snake have their unique characters and stand in stark contrast to each other. While the King Snake is known for its non-aggressive nature and relatively mild venom, the Coral Snake is known for its highly venomous nature and striking red, yellow, and black pattern. It is essential to understand the distinction between these two reptilian creatures, stay alert and be cautious in areas with venomous snakes.