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
Last Revised: June 6, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Sean P. Bush, MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine, Envenomation Specialist
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