PARAGUAYAN WILDLIFE HOME
REPTILES HOME
FAMILY ELAPIDAE
     Snakes of the family Elapidae are closely related to colubrid snakes, with the primary differences involving their teeth and jaws.  This group includes cobras, sea snakes, and coral snakes.  Only the members of the subfamily Elapinae, the coral snakes, occur in the New World.
Micrurus altiostris

Micrurus altiostris

Micrurus baliocoyrphus

Micrurus baliocoyrphus

Micrurus frontalis

Micrurus frontalis

Micrurus carralhoi

Micrurus carralhoi

Micrurus pyrrhocryptus

Micrurus pyrrhocryptus

     There are more than 50 species of coral snake whose distribution stretches from the United States to Argentina.  Most species possess rings of red, yellow, and black although the order of these bands can vary and some species lack yellow bands.  Their venom is very potent although the position of their fangs makes it harder for them to inflict a dangerous bite in humans.  They feed primarily on reptiles, many feed especially on amphisbaenians (Mattison, 1995).

 

Leptomicrurus

     There are three South American species of coral snake belonging to the genus Leptomicrurus.  These are burrowing snakes which feed on invertebrates, caecilians, and amhisbaenians.