Odd Snake Out
Coral snakes are not pit vipers, and their heads are relatively small, smooth and bluntly bullet-shaped. Their coloration is quite distinctive, with alternating red, yellow and black bands. A true coral snake has a black nose and a bright yellow head, and bands in the pattern of black- yellow-red-yellow-black down the length of the body. The old saying, "Red and yellow, kill a fellow-red and black, venom lack," is only half true, because there are counterfeit coral snakes with red bands flanked by yellow bands (and not separated from the red by black bands) that are not true North American coral snakes. The most accurate identifying marks are the black band on the nose, the yellow head and the pattern described above.
** 1. Rattlesnake** Rattlers can be found everywhere, from the desert to the mountains to the forest.