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False Coral Snake ID wanted, Venezuela.

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Old Wednesday 20th January 2016, 10:10   #1
andyadcock
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False Coral Snake ID wanted, Venezuela.

Come on Samandag, what's this one!

Very small in damp leaf litter at about 1000m in Caripe district, assuming it's a juvenile?

Our guide told us that any Coral snake types with white bellies, as this had, are harmless?

Andy
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Old Wednesday 30th March 2016, 15:42   #2
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Bump

Now that Samandag is back with us

Andy
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Old Wednesday 30th March 2016, 18:14   #3
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Hi Andy,

This is most likely Tantilla semicincta, a baby, and in 'pre-slough', nice snake.

Wilson gives the checklist and key to Tantilla (to 1999), https://repository.si.edu/bitstream/...=1&isAllowed=y and there has been much published since.

With snakes always ignore what your guide says until you are sure you know what you have to hand. Venomous coral snakes and their mimics are so highly variable you just have to be certain. If your guide gets bitten by something interesting and you are miles from anywhere with only one guide it could become very challenging.

Local effects of varying intensity have been reported from bites by false coral snakes.

VRLA attempted a key to the two dozen or so genera of Latin American false coral snakes known to 1989, none of the couplets were colour specific. The topic is so challenging that the key was omitted from VRWH although 39 genera are listed as potential coral snake mimics, and that was over 10 years ago.

Best wishes,
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Old Thursday 31st March 2016, 07:12   #4
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Many thanks Samandag,
I am aware that advice (even on birds!) from guides cannot always be relied upon but our guide is a professional biologist and really did seem to know her stuff.

Thanks again, much appreciated, Andy

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