False Coral Snake Coral Falsa Culebra (Erythrolamprus mimus)
This False Coral Snake was crossing Barry’s path as he went to check on a leak in our water source. He was with a Costa Rican that wanted to immediately kill the snake thinking that it was a “real” Coral, which has an extremely deadly poison. Barry told him that we wanted it for photos (real or false) and asked if he would help to get it in the bucket. For one hour they lifted up rocks and moved debris with their feet trying to get the snake on a stick without hurting themselves or it. They finally got it in the bucket and we brought it home so that it could rest up for its big photo shoot. We collected lizards and caterpillars so it could eat overnight. We knew that this was a False Coral Snake because the rings that go around the body are split and don’t make a complete circle. There are theories that suggest mimicry of real Corals to thwart off predators. No one really knows why the False Coral Snake looks so much like a very poisonous Coral Snake but with such distinct differences. You can look up Bates Mimicry theory for more information. We are just happy to find such a beautiful creature and that we have the means to share it with you.
Above: Notice that the split stripes continue around the belly. Other false corals have a single color underside. Below: This is its flattened position. If it senses danger it flattens its body so that a bird or mammal can not pick it up.
Find the other snakes, reptiles and frogs on our farm here