King SNAKE vs. Coral Snake

The King and Coral snakes have similar physical characteristics. Because of this, people often mistake one for the other—but only one is considered to be dangerous. So how can you tell them apart? Let’s find out!

What is a Coral Snake?

Over 80 species of coral snakes are found in the world, and they are grouped into Old World and New World coral snakes. They are common in America and Asia, and you can find about 65 species of New World coral snakes in America.

Coral snakes release a sharp venom that penetrates humans bloodstream to paralyze a person and eventually cause death. If a coral snake bites you, you can also experience nausea, warbled speech, intense pain, dizziness, and respiratory issues.

King Snakes belong to the genus Lampropeltis and are giant and harmless. You can find many species in the US. A king snake can grow as long as 24 inches or 60 inches.

What is a KING SNAKE?

They also usually come in red & brown and red & black paired markings with a touch of yellow. So you can see how similar the king is to the coral snake and why it is easy to confuse them.

5 Major Differences Between King Snake and Coral Snake


The skin color markings on the coral and king snakes make it difficult to tell them apart. You’ll find that although both snakes have similar color markings, the arrangement of these markings differs. The markings on both snakes are red, black, and yellow.


Coral snakes produce very poisonous venom, making them one of the world's most dangerous species. On the other hand, king snakes don't possess fangs or release venom—their small conical teeth cannot harm any human in case of a bite.


King snakes are usually longer. While King snakes can grow as long as 24 to 72 inches, coral snakes grow anywhere from 18 to 20 inches.


Coral snakes can be found in Asia & America. They like to hide under leaves, so you're most likely to find them in woody areas or forests. King snake can be found in North America & Mexico. It lives in a variety of habitats, including deserts and grasslands.