Biology: The Florida scarlet snake which is a part of the Cemophora coccinea coccinea species can grow up to 20 inches long; however, there was one that actually made it to 32 inches long. Most of the ones that have been seen have red blotches on its back with black bordering it. This non-venomous scarlet snake can be white or gray with smooth scales. The black bordering lines run full length down their backs and join together on top of the red blotches. When the ranges of the scarlet snake overlap, it can cause them to be mistaken for the Eastern milk snake or scarlet kingsnake. However, when a person is able to get up close, they can see that the kingsnake has yellow bands rather than the white bands that a Florida scarlet snake has. With an Eastern milk snake, you can tell them apart because they have a nose that is slightly upturned and a head that is red. The Florida scarlet snake has seven labia scales which makes it just a little easier to distinguish it from the Northern scarlet snake.
Habitat: Since these snakes are very secretive and uncommon, they spend most of their down time hiding. This can be under bark, dry prairies, hardwood hammocks, logs and other areas that provide a place to be unseen. These snakes are seen the most after a heavy rain has taken place. However, they also tend to like coming out when the sun has went down. Their most favorite places to hang out are in woodland habitats where sandy soils are plenty. Some of the states that you might recognize them in are Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Delaware, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Maryland, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Florida, New jersey and Missouri.
Behavior: The Florida scarlet snake is a one that enjoys burrowing and hiding under leaf litter. They enjoy visiting agricultural land that is developed, open forested areas and they swallow reptile eggs whole or they puncture them first. Once the egg has been punctured, the Florida scarlet snake consumes whatever contents are inside. While the scarlet snake is not interested in humans much, they will strike just like any other snake if they feel there is no other option and they feel like you are a threat.
Diet: Speaking of a diet, a Florida scarlet snake’s diet consists of some variety. They eat lizards, other snakes, reptile eggs and small rodents.
Reproduction: Florida scarlet snakes find it much more exciting to breed in the spring. However, the summertime is when you can expect them to lay their eggs. These snakes can lay about 3-8 eggs which usually begin to hatch around fall.
More Interesting Facts: Many people believe that the scarlet snake resembles the Coral snake a great deal. The only problem with this is that the scarlet snake is actually harmless compared to the coral snake. Its bright colors say danger. While many of them look exactly like the scarlet snake, there are a lot of them that appear extremely dark in color. This includes being black. Both snakes have similar characteristics except one important thing. Coral snakes shoot venom that affects the central nervous system. The bite may not be as painful but if a person bitten does not seek medical attention right away, they may die. This is one of the main reasons that you do not want to pick snakes up unless you are sure what type of snake it is and you are aware of its capabilities. Many people have made the mistake of picking up a snake they have thought was harmless only to learn something totally different. To avoid trouble, read more about the Snake Rhyme Poem, and information about the Coral Snake Look Alikes.
The Florida scarlet snake has many other scientific names such as Coluber coccineus which was used in 1788. In 1842, Holbrook used the scientific name Rhinostoma coccineus and in 1854 Dummeril, Bibron & Dumeril used the scientific name Simotes coccineus. It was not until 1988 that the name Cemphora coccinea became the new scientific name to use. There are many different types of snakes in Florida but the scarlet snake seems to be one of the most attractive looking snakes in the peninsular area. In some ways they kind of remind you of a candy cane on Christmas with their vibrant colors. Below are some other species of snake that may look like a Florida Scarlet Snake:
Red Rat Snake
Scarlet King Snake
Many people want to know how to kill a Florida Scarlet Snake, but you don't need to. The best way to get rid of Florida Scarlet Snakes is to simply leave them alone. You can also use a Florida Scarlet Snake trap to catch them - that's one of the best ways for how to remove Florida Scarlet Snake. For more information, go to my Snake Removal - How to Get Rid of Snakes home page.
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