Eastern Coral Snake

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Mynki
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Joined: December 8th, 2014, 10:33 am
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Eastern Coral Snake

Post by Mynki » December 9th, 2014, 2:08 am

Hello all

I'm staying in Everglades City on vacation very soon and will be herping in Big Cypress National Preserve a nearby WMA. I've been lucky enough to see corn snakes, rat snakes, countless cottonmouths and a couple of eastern diamondback rattlesnakes. I've however never seen an Eastern Coral snake.

I've read the forum and completely understand why specific spots are not mentioned in public, but any help and tips as to increase my chances of finding one of these beautiful animals would be much appreciated. For example, the best time of day and their preferred habitat etc.

Thanks in advance
Mynki

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PrimitiveTim
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Re: Eastern Coral Snake

Post by PrimitiveTim » December 9th, 2014, 7:52 pm

last one I saw was hiked in the evening. It was slithering through the pine needles. Coral snakes are weird. They just seem to pop up randomly here and there for me.

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Josh Young
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Re: Eastern Coral Snake

Post by Josh Young » December 9th, 2014, 10:59 pm

Coral snakes in south Florida are primarily nocturnal, out of well into the hundreds of coral snakes I saw living in West Palm, only a single individual was found during daylight hours.

A scenario that I found useful for finding corals effectively down there was that when we had a solid rain early in the morning up to into the afternoon, that later that night I had a good chance of finding a coral snake. They're fossorial, so rains flush them out of the ground.

Another option is to try flipping for them in the very early morning hours, just before dawn, I've found several that way as well.

Coral snakes aren't very habitat specific that far south either, it seems, as I would commonly find them crossing in front of peoples houses, and I've found them crossing in a WMA that is practically a giant swamp, that was flooded on both sides of the road. Tree farms, tree nurseries and the like seem to be very thick with coral snakes down there, I assume it's because rat snakes and the like will lay their eggs in there and young rat snakes are a favorite of coral snakes, as are Brahminy blind snakes.

Hope that helps some.

Mynki
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Joined: December 8th, 2014, 10:33 am
Location: UK

Re: Eastern Coral Snake

Post by Mynki » December 10th, 2014, 5:10 am

Yeah it does help. Thanks very much for the info. I can't wait to get there to be honest.

On a similar note, what are my chances of finding pygmy rattlers in Big Cypress? I've only ever seen EDB's before. But then again I have never looked for pygmies. Is flipping a good idea for these also?

simus343
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Re: Eastern Coral Snake

Post by simus343 » December 10th, 2014, 6:46 am

Flipping works somewhat for pygmies, or better yet, rolling logs about 4-12 inches in diameter. I have found most of mine, in North and NW Florida, by walking through pine flatwoods and flooded oak hammocks along grassy trails. They are rather small, so easy to miss if you are not careful. Road cruising in the evening during the hours before and after sunset works well too. I have seen a good number on very lightly traveled paved roads. I have seen a majority of my pygmies in areas with an abundance of fence lizards and true-frogs. I have seen them during all times of day, but they seem most active at dusk.

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Noah M
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Re: Eastern Coral Snake

Post by Noah M » December 12th, 2014, 5:34 am

You may have luck, in general, looking along any canals you can find down there.

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