THE CORAL SNAKE OF SOUTHEAST ARIZONA AND BISBEE
Introduction to the Coral Snake
The Coral Snake, a small yet strikingly vibrant serpent, is native to Southeast Arizona, including the unique terrains around Bisbee. Known scientifically as Micrurus fulvius, this species is famed for its distinct color pattern and potent venom.
Identification and Appearance
Distinctive Coloration: The Coral Snake is easily identifiable by its vibrant bands of red, yellow, and black. This coloration serves as a warning to potential predators about its venomous nature.
Size and Shape: Typically, Coral Snakes are slender and small, averaging 20 to 30 inches in length. They have smooth scales, adding to their sleek appearance.
Habitat and Behavior
Natural Habitat: In Southeast Arizona, including areas around Bisbee, these snakes prefer rocky and wooded areas. They are often found in spaces that offer shelter, like under rocks or in burrows.
Nocturnal Creatures: Coral Snakes are primarily nocturnal, hunting for their prey in the cooler hours of the night.
Diet: Their diet mainly consists of smaller snakes, lizards, frogs, and occasionally small rodents.
Venom and Safety
Potency of Venom: The venom of the Coral Snake is neurotoxic, affecting the nervous system of its victim. However, bites are rare due to their reclusive nature and preference to flee rather than confront.
Safety Measures: If encountered, it's vital to maintain a safe distance and not attempt to handle the snake. Immediate medical attention is crucial in the rare event of a bite.
Protection Efforts: In Arizona, Coral Snakes are a protected species. Conservation efforts focus on habitat preservation and public education about these misunderstood reptiles.
The Coral Snake of Southeast Arizona and Bisbee is a fascinating and essential part of the region's biodiversity. Understanding and respecting this creature's role in the ecosystem is vital for both its conservation and human safety.