Elapids Coral Snakes

There are two genera of coral snakes—Micruroides (the Sonoran coral snake found in Arizona, Micruroides euryxanthus) and Micrurus (two subspecies: the eastern coral snake, Micrurus fulvius fulvius, and the Texas coral snake, Micrurus fulvius tenere) (33).

Coral snake fangs are short, upper anterior maxillary teeth, fixed in an erect position. They also have rounded pupils and subcaudal scales in a double row. The body is small and slender with a bright three-color pattern of red, black, and white or yellow, which encircle the body without interruption. The head is small and rounded and has a black snout without facial pits (9,26,27).

The coral snake must rely on a chewing action to instill its venom. It is generally accepted that the snake must maintain its bite hold on its victim for some prolonged period of time in order to administer a significant amount of venom. Kitchens reported that in 85% of cases in their series, the snake had to be actively removed (33,35).

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