World’s Most Colorful Banded Snakes and Their Distinct Characteristics

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I have already published several articles regarding snakes. These posts are about venomous cobras, deadliest species, colorful species, snakes with unique color patterns, largest and longest species and odd-looking species.

1. Mexican Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum annulata)

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The non venomous Mexican Milk Snake is a colorful banded snake that is endemic to Mexico. It has distinct red, black and cream colored banding. It is a coral snake mimic that can also be found in the US. This nocturnal can attain a length of 76 cm. It feeds on lizards and rodents

  • It also feeds on other snakes.
  • It’s becoming a popular exotic pet due to its attractive and striking colorations.

2. Nelson’s Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum nelsoni)

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The brightly colored Nelson’s Milksnake is a kind of king snake that is found in Mexico. It grows to a 110 cm long or more. This non-venomous snake has 13 to 18 red rings. It was named in honor of Edward Nelson, former chief of US Biological Survey. Its natural habitats include semi-arid coastal thorn scrub and interior tropical deciduous forests. It feeds on birds, rodents, lizards and amphibians.

  • It also feeds on other snakes including venomous snake.
  • It can tolerate venoms of poisonous species of snake.

3. Eastern Coral Snake (Micrurus fulvius)

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The colorful Eastern Coral Snake is a dangerous snake because it’s venomous. It can be found in the southeastern part of the US. It is remarkably noticeable for its red, yellow/white, and black colored banding. It is oftentimes mistaken for the Scarlet Kingsanke or Scarlet Snake which are harmless mimics. It can grow to a maximum length of 130 cm. This brightly colored snake is also commonly called common Coral Snake or American Cobra.

  • The female species of this snake is much longer than the male but has longer tail.
  • It possesses the 2nd most potent venom of any North American snake.
  • The snake has a powerful neurotoxin that paralyzes the breathing muscles
  • The venom of a coral snake holds is enough to kill 4-5 adults but can’t release all its venom in a single bite.

4. Red Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum syspila)

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This tri-colored snake with broad red saddle-shaped markings bordered with black separated by pale bands that can be found in the US usually has between 19 and 30 red or red-brown saddle shaped blotches. The Red Milk Snake can grow to a length of 70 cm or more.

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  • When disturbed, the Red Milk Snake will often thrash around and may bite and excrete a foul smelling musk.
  • It can be kept in captivity and wild caught adults settle down fairly easily.

5. Texas Coral Snake (Micrurus tener)

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The shy and secretive but poisonous Texas Coral Snake can be found in southern US and Mexico.  It has black, yellow and red banding. It can grow to a length of 100 cm and typically nocturnal.

  • It has a powerful neurotoxin causing neuromuscular dysfunction.
  • This colorful snake is a cannibal that primarily feeds on other snake.

6. Gray-banded Kingsnake, (Lampropeltis alterna)

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The non-venomous Grey-banded Kingsnake of the US particularly Texas and New Mexico is a medium sized snake that can attain a length of 57 inches. It is more commonly referred to as the Alterna. It is nocturnal and has wide red/orange banding. It is a species that is commonly kept in captivity and is a popular exotic pet.

7. Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus)

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The venomous Banded Krait of India and Southeast Asia is a species of snake that is easily recognized by its alternate black and yellow bands. It occurs in the whole of the Indo-Chinese sub region, the Malaysian peninsula and archipelago and Southern China.

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8. Blue-lipped Sea Krait (Laticauda laticaudata)

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The Blue-lipped Sea Krait is a sea snake that can attain a length of 1.07 meters. The female is longer than male species. It can be found in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. They inhabit the waters around the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and many others.

9. Scarlet Snake (Cemaphora coccinea)

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The non-venomous Scarlet Snake which is endemic to the southeastern United States has 3 subspecies. This small species can only attain a length of 51 cm. It is often mistaken for the Scarlet King Snake and the venomous Coral Snake.

10. Colubrine Sea Krait (Laticauda colubrina)

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The Colubrine Sea Krait with blue and black bands is a sea snake that inhabits the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. The snout is remarkably noticeable because of its yellow color hence it is also commonly called Yellow-lipped Sea Krait. Another informal name of this species is Banded Sea Krait.

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The female species, which usually attain a length of 1.4 meters, is much longer that the male. It is a venomous snake but is not aggressive to divers.

11. Scarlet King Snake (Lampropeltis elapsoides)

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The Scarlet Kingsnake that can be found in southeastern United States has a tri-color pattern of black, red and yellow bands. It is a coral snake mimic. It can attain a maximum length of 69 cm. Its most favorite food is skink.

12. Honduran Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum hondurensis)

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The non-venomous Honduran Milk Snake is a commonly bred mild snake in captivity. It is a large milksnake that can attain length of 5 feet. It has a black, red and yellow/orange banding. It is a coral snake mimic. Its mimicry helps protect the snake from predators.

13. Pueblan Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli)

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The non-venomous Pueblan Milk Snake is an egg laying snake that is also commonly bred in captivity. It is found in several color variations. Its based color is red with black and yellow/white bands. It can grow up to 36 inches in length. It is known to discharges pungent smelling exudates from its cloaca when handled. This behavior is presumed as a defense mechanism. It is another coral snake mimic. It is also informally called Campbell’s Milk Snake.

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