Little Friends of Jack

This past weekend we have been super busy with new and potential new arrivals, from hatching eggs to discovering freshly laid ones.

We were all very excited about the arrival of 9 Arizona Mountain King Snakes early on Saturday morning, and nobody was more excited than long time staffer Craig Tauchman who cares for the native species here in The Reptile Zoo. You can see in the picture below just how much he loves these snakes as he even has a custom made bracelet with the same pattern!

 

The arrival of these snakes gives me the perfect opportunity to talk to you a little bit about Coral Snake patterns vs King Snake patterns. Several non-venomous colubrids have similar red/black/yellow banded patterns to the venomous Coral Snakes. They mimic the Coral Snake’s pattern in an attempt to warn off predators, mimicking other more dangerous species is a common defense mechanism within the reptile world.

A good rhyme to remember to help you to distinguish if it is a venomous Coral snake or a non-venomous Colubrid is;

If red touches black, he’s a friend of Jack, BUT if red touches yellow you’re a dead fellow!

 

Even though this simple rhyme is a great way to help you remember, we recommend that you don’t attempt to pick up any of these snakes in the wild, just in case.

 

 

 

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Jurassic Fact of the Week

 

Hey Party People....

So this week we are featuring Skim....the Milksnake, and his "mimic".  Skim and the other Milksnakes can be seen at all the parties because they are very tame, and very cool to look at!  The Milksnake normally has the color pattern of red, black, white...and it is commonly mistaken for the Coral Snake which is red, black, yellow.  While Coral snakes are venomous, Milksnakes are NOT and are perfectly suitable as party guests.   :-D

Many of you are probably familiar with the poem for these snakes:

"If red touches black...he's a friend of Jack.  If red touches yellow...he'll kill a fellow."

This is a VERY good example of why you should never, ever, ever...everevereverever...touch a snake in your backyard, or on a hike, or wherever.  The Western Coral Snake even has the SAME colors as a Milksnake...so you never know!  While not PRONE to striking or biting, Coral Snakes have the most potent venom of all North Amercian Snakes...so you don't want to risk it.

 

Here are a couple pics of Skim, our tame and non-venomous Milksnake:

 

And here is what the Coral Snakes look like:

Eastern:

 

Western:

 

Pretty similar huh?   So, if your not an expert, please be careful out there...

<3...........Thalia

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