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Thread: Arizona Coral Snake

  1. #1
    Registered User reptilist's Avatar
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    Default Arizona Coral Snake

    Last night's snake call.
    Around 10 pm a neighbor came by to say they had a snake in their house so Nicole and I went to investigate. We did not find it despite diligent searching, so after a half hour of that we went home. I knew it wasn't a rattlesnake and by their description it was either a long nosed or a coral. The lady of the house was not going to go to sleep until she found it so I left her my 24" forceps and a snake bucket. About a half hour later her son brought my tools back with a live coral snake inside the bucket!
    Pretty amazing that they didn't kill it!
    Anyway, the snake had crawled up into a loose power outlet cover on the wall. Jeeze!


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  3. #2
    AHA Current Member Banzai's Avatar
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    Very nice. I have always had a soft spot for Corals - and Greenies (Basura verde)
    too but some folks claim that indicates a different soft spot.
    Mark

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  5. #3
    AHA Current Member Justin Bagby's Avatar
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    Great looking coral
    AHA Member since 2001

    jbherp.com

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    Niiiiice Snake

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    Senior Life Member Taipan's Avatar
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    Absolutely beautiful Terry. Great thinking to leave her small tongs and a bucket.

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    Administrator viborero's Avatar
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    Cool snake and great story, Terry!
    Diego Ortiz

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    Great Job terry!!!

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    Is it a relocation or will that little beauty be a part of your educational programs?
    Happy herping!

  11. #9
    Registered User reptilist's Avatar
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    I already relocated it to my backyard. Then my wife threw a humongous fit! I thought she was better educated than that but clearly anything I had to say fell on deaf ears. I wanted to give the snake a protected place of honor.... She claimed criminal endangerment.

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  13. #10
    Administrator viborero's Avatar
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    Haha! Perhaps she has a case better case at attempted manslaughter?
    Diego Ortiz

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    Registered User reptilist's Avatar
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    Don't give her any ideas!
    I am completely floored by her behavior about this.


  15. #12
    Senior Life Member Taipan's Avatar
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    Terry, it may help to tell her that there has never been a human fatality from the bite of an Arizona (Sonoran) Coral Snake. In fact the late Dr. Herb Stahnke used to let students pass them from hand to hand in some of his biology classes. Herb was an arachnologist and he knew that the Coral Snakes were Elapids but he didn't consider the Arizona Coral Snake to be dangerously venomous.

    Here's a link to an actual Coral Snake bite experienced by an individual from Tucson who's both a herper and a Doctor. It's quite cleverly written and informative. Also, it implicitly makes my point about Arizona Coral Snake bites. It also makes it clear that one must not confuse Micruroides with Micrurus!

    http://www.tucsonreptileshow.com/In%...Gray%20pdf.pdf

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    Registered User ThamnElegans24's Avatar
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    Thanks Gary, thats was a good story.

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    That coral snake is a cool! That is hilarious!

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    Gasp! It's stunning! WOW!

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    Nice save Terry!! Great idea leaving them tools and a bucket.....Thanks for doing what you do brother, keep up the good work!!




    Nick
    "The path of least resistance only yields the least valuable rewards".....

  21. #17
    Registered User reptilist's Avatar
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    Thanks Taipan, I will send that pdf to her email.

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  23. #18

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    I think Mills was with a guy who got bite by a coral once, care to share his symptoms?


    -Brandon-

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    Administrator viborero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon La Forest View Post
    I think Mills was with a guy who got bite by a coral once, care to share his symptoms?
    Hey...I have heard about this one. Was this the infamous night of the disappearing coral caper??
    Diego Ortiz

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    Arrow When I have caught>>>

    Corals (admittedly not many over the course of 53 years - maybe 15) I always caught them by hand. I knew Dr. Stahnke and saw him virtually every time I came to AZ from CA and knew what he did with corals in his classes. AGAIN, TO ECHO GARY, NOBODY HAS EVER DIED FROM THE BITE OF A CORAL (OR A GILA, EITHER).

    Sergeant-at-Arms

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  27. #21

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    But then again...most folks dont pick them up bare handed either!
    Dave Weber
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  29. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by viborero View Post
    Hey...I have heard about this one. Was this the infamous night of the disappearing coral caper??
    That rings a bell, but my memory is fuzzy, I think Aaron is best for the task at hand

    -Brandon-

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  31. #23
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    Thumbs up Right on

    Thanks for the article, Gary. Interesting reading. I've noticed before how, without flashlights, they all look the same. I guess that's kind of the point for some of the other species who share the same desert with these guys.

    I DO, however, question the statement he made that they are prone to biting, though. We've only caught three, but only one struck and, even then, only one time.(My hook survived the vicious attack.lol) The other two were so relaxed that we handled them bare-handed, as others have. Compared to our crotes and (ESPECIALLY, in some cases) our colubrids, I'm hardly convinced that that one strike illustrates a propensity for biting. Either way, the apparent lack of systemic reaction is very comforting. Thanks again for the chance to read that article.
    Last edited by croteseeker; 07-15-2011 at 02:40 AM. Reason: typo
    Happy herping!

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  33. #24
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    But then again...most folks dont pick them up bare handed either!
    I do a Steve Irwin... tail and twig. I wear the gloves because I don't want to get bit, and also to set an example of safety for kids and cowboys.

    A friend of mine brought me a jumbo sized coral snake last year that was twice the size of what I normally see, and that one I would not have freehandled comfortably.


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    Its still a very clean patterned snake. Very nice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon La Forest View Post
    That rings a bell, but my memory is fuzzy, I think Aaron is best for the task at hand

    -Brandon-
    Brandon and I were cruising a road down in southern AZ in one vehicle, and our friends Jeff and Oscar were in another vehicle. As Brandon and I were coming around the corner we see Jeff and Oscar jumping out of their vehicles and we see a coral snake crossing the road. We catch the snake, and look at it for a little bit. Brandon was holding the Coral as we were discussing plans for cruising the rest of the night, and when he looks down he sees that the coral was latched on to his hand. Because the snake was so small, he didn't feel the bite at all.

    I can't remember all of his symptoms, but he seemed out of it the entire night. The whole time we were cruising he kept talking about finding a pyro on the road haha (we weren't in pyro habitat). Pretty much just babbled all night ha. It was an interesting night for sure.

    Yes Diego, the coral did get away as I was attempting to photo it!

    Unfortunately it was Oscars lifer...


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  38. #27
    Admin - Web Developer Minos's Avatar
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    Seeing as how the symptoms don't appear to be that bad ... I wonder if dumb kids are going to start letting them bit them to get high...

    Like those people who are licking the cane toad to get high. Hopefully the stigma of coral snakes being super deadly will keep them from doing this kind of stupid stuff ...
    Kenneth Mincks

  39. #28
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    Default My .02

    regarding the whole "Micruoides envenomation" bit....

    These animal's heads are very small...their fangs are correspondingly small...their venom yield is tiny...they're generally very flighty and seldom very defensive when accosted....In my experience, they usually "pop" their cloaca and act all "herky-jerky" when they can't get away....

    Given all of this, it's not surprising that bites are extraordinarily rare and recorded fatalities non-existent.

    All that being said, we ARE dealing with an elapid here, and their venom is actually quite toxic...given these two factors alone, I'd exercise extreme caution when handling one...(In fact, the circumstances where handling one is absolutely necessary are just about as rare as bites themselves.)

    -Kris
    :In the end, we conserve only that which we love, love only that which we understand and understand only that which we are taught. - Baba Dioum

  40. #29
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    Now this is a good demonstration on how not to handle a Coral Snake.

    http://www.break.com/pictures/jr-jake-the-snake-2082912

  41. #30
    Senior Life Member keown's Avatar
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    Now this is a good demonstration on how not to handle a Coral Snake.

    http://www.break.com/pictures/jr-jake-the-snake-2082912

    I've seen the photo of this village idiot and the coral snake before somewhere.
    Gerald Keown
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