Friday, March 20, 2009

Rhymes with snakes

Yellow touching red: you're dead. Red touching black: safe for jack. Red against yellow can kill a fellow. You might have heard one of these rhymes used to determine whether a snake is venomous or not. For the most part these rhymes using colors are correct and can be applied, but not always. Look at these two snakes:

The shovel nose snake (bottom photo by Tom Brennan) looks very similar to the coral snake (top photo). The rhyme doesn't work for the non-venomous shovel nose (and some others like one of my milk snakes), so then a new rhyme will have to be created to add confusion: Red touches yellow, might be safe for a fellow? If you find a snake on an outing, it is best to just leave it alone. Stay at least 3 feet away and maybe get some pictures for bragging rights. If you find a venomous snake on your property or near where kids play, just call a local reptile rescue and have the snake relocated. Killing snakes doesn't accomplish anything.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I own a banned king snake and love all snakes dearly. Killing snakes may temporarily solve a problem. But where one snake is found more usually are or will come. It is much better to have the snake relocated. And as the saying goes, snakes are not dangerous unless provoked. So just stay clear and you'll be fine :)