University Of Florida Provost Records Coral Snake Getting Stung While Trying To Eat Rat Snake

October 19, 2019

Evangeline Cummings, assistant provost and director of University of Florida Online recorded a very peculiar interaction between an eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius), a dead rat snake (Elaphe sp.), and a yellowjacket wasp. Cummings who was in a backyard, watched and recorded on video the incident, which involved the coral snake, while hanging precariously on a tree limb, trying to eat the dead snake. As the coral snake started to eat the dead snake, the wasp landed on it, and a few moments later, based upon the coral snake’s movements, stung the snake, which caused it to stop trying to eat the dead snake.

“Um ok, ⁦@UFEntomology⁩ and ⁦⁦@MartaWayneUF⁩ , I believe I just witnessed a BEE  stinging a CORAL SNAKE  while the CORAL was dining on a RAT (?) SNAKE  and I need your support to process this. ⁦⁦@UF⁩ #FloridaBackyard,” Cummings wrote on Twitter.

Twitter user Emily Taylor recommended Cummings talk to a grad student who attends her university for more information.

The interaction Cummings captured is super interesting, showing the opportunistic tendencies of this particular coral snake.

Coral Snakes Of The United States

There are three coral snake species in the United States; the Eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius); the Texas coral snake (M. tener); and the Sonoran coral snake (Micruroides euryxanthus).

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