How To Identify Black and Red Banded Snakes?


Black and red-banded snakes are often seen in the same area as other poisonous species, such as coral snakes. They can be distinguished from these by their lack of a black or yellow stripe on their heads. The black and red-banded snake is also larger than most other species of venomous snake.

You can distinguish harmless snakes from coral snakes by looking at their eyes: Coral snakes have vertical pupils that look like slits, while the eyes of nonvenomous snakes are round.

On the other hand, harmless, black and red banded snakes have horizontal pupils that look like circles. The coloration of the black and red-banded snake varies with its age and sex. Young snakes tend to have more vibrant colors than adults. Adult males tend to have brighter bands than females.

“If red touches yellow, it kills a fellow. If red touches black, it’s a friend of Jack”. The common, age-old rhyme supposedly helps to distinguish between the deadly coral snake and several of its harmless lookalikes.
Below, we have listed a handful of ways you can identify black and red banded snakes:




Kingsnakes are found throughout North America. They are large, nonvenomous constrictors that prey primarily on rodents and small reptiles. Kingsnakes are typically brownish-gray with dark bands running down their backs. These bands may be broken into smaller stripes. Kingsnakes are not usually aggressive toward humans. However, if they feel threatened, they will strike at people.

Since their red bands do not touch their yellow bands, it is safe to conclude that these snakes are non-venomous snakes.


Coral Snake

Coral Snake
“This photo” by Ashley Wahlberg is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The coral snake is one of the largest and deadliest snakes in North America. Coral snakes are found throughout the southeastern United States. They are characterized by a bright orange head and body with a distinctive black ring around their neck. The coral snake is the only black and red-banded snake that has its yellow bands touching the red bands, denoting that its venomous, even deadly.

Their venom contains neurotoxins that cause paralysis and death within minutes. Coral snakes are not usually aggressive toward people but will bite when provoked. If bitten, seek medical attention immediately.


Eastern Massasauga

“This photo” by Laura Wolf is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The eastern massasauga is a nonvenomous pit viper native to the Appalachian Mountains. It has a light gray body with two distinct rows of darker spots along its back. Its tail is covered with dark blotches. Eastern massasaugas are relatively docile and do not pose much threat to humans.




Rattlesnakes are among the most dangerous snakes in the world. There are over 200 different species of rattlesnakes worldwide. Most are harmless to humans. Rattlesnakes are characterized by having a rattle located near the tip of their tails. This rattle helps them warn predators away from their nests and young. Rattlesnakes use this warning system to protect themselves from attack.

There are three main types of rattlesnakes: ground rattlers, water rattlesnakes, and pit vipers. Ground rattlers are the smallest type of rattlesnake. They live in dry areas where they hunt for insects and lizards. Pit vipers are the second-largest type of rattlesnakes. They prefer moist environments like swamps and ponds.


Corn Snakes

Corn snakes are quite common in the Southeast. They are nonvenomous constricting snakes that feed mainly on frogs and toads. Corn snakes are characterized by a long, slender body with a pointed snout. Since their yellow bands do not touch the red bands, it is easy to tell that they are not venomous in nature. They are usually greenish-yellow or tan colored with a white belly. Corn snakes are not normally aggressive toward people but will defend themselves if attacked.



How To Identify Black and Red Banded Snakes?
“This image “ by Peter Paplanus is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Milksnakes are nonvenomous snakes that eat mice, rats, and shrews. Milksnakes are characterized by a short, cylindrical body with a rounded head. They are usually olive-green or brownish in color with a white belly with their yellow bands not touching their red bands. Milksnakes generally avoid contact with humans.

If you see any of these snakes, it’s important to remember that they are wild animals and should never be handled. Also, make sure to stay out of their habitats. If you encounter an animal while hiking, camping, fishing, or hunting, please report your sighting to local authorities.


How To Identify Dangerous Snakes From Harmless Ones?

When you go out looking for wildlife, you need to know how to identify the difference between a poisonous snake and a harmless one. You don’t want to get bit or even worse, killed by a deadly snake! Here’s what you need to know about identifying dangerous snakes from harmless ones.

Although there is no universal criteria for determining whether a snake is safe or dangerous, here are some things to look for when trying to determine if a snake is poisonous or not.


Snakes tend to grow larger as they age. The average size of a snake is typically around four feet (1.2 meters) long. However, some snakes can reach up to 10 feet (3 meters). When you’re dealing with a large snake, it’s best to assume that it could be dangerous until proven otherwise.


Color is also something to consider when deciding if a snake is dangerous. Some snakes have bright colors while others are more camouflaged. For example, black snakes are often considered to be very dangerous because they blend into their surroundings so well. On the other hand, harmless snakes may appear to be harmless because they are dull in color.


Another thing to keep in mind when deciding if a snake might be dangerous is its behavior. Some snakes are known to be active at night while others are active during the day. It’s important to note that most poisonous snakes are active during the daytime. So, if you spot a snake during the day, it’s probably harmless.

Head Shape

The shape of a snake’s head can help you decide whether it’s poisonous or not. Most snakes have round heads, but some species have triangular or diamond-shaped heads. Poisonous snakes have elongated heads that are wider than they are tall. If you notice a snake with an unusual head shape, you should still take caution. Remember that all snakes are potentially dangerous and it’s better to err on the side of caution.

Body Size

The length of a snake’s body can also tell you if it’s dangerous or not. Large snakes are more likely to be dangerous than small ones. In fact, some snakes can grow up to 30 feet (9 meters) long. Smaller snakes are less likely to pose a threat to humans.


Snakes live in different environments depending on where they’re found. Some snakes prefer dry areas, while others prefer wetter conditions. This means that you’ll find them near water sources, such as rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, and oceans. These types of snakes are usually harmless.

You can learn a lot about snakes just by observing them. Knowing what to look for will help you avoid getting bitten or killed by a venomous snake.


Read More

  1. Black and White Snakes (With Strips and Spots)
  2. How to Identify a Queen Wasp?


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