Micrurus langsdorffi Langsdorff’s Coral Snake
Also known as:
Confused Coral Snake
Santa Cruz Forest Reserve, Loreto, PeruJanuary 18, 2014
Langsdorff’s Coral Snake (Micrurus langsdorffi) Langsdorff’s Coral Snake (Micrurus langsdorffi)
After a long day on the boat from Madre Selva Biological Station, we arrived at Santa Cruz Forest Reserve and began the long hike up the hill to the field station where we were to stay for the next several days. Within an hour of reaching the field station, local staff member Edvin showed us this coral snake that he had found a dozen yards away on the same trail that we had just climbed up. We were not surprised that he had found a snake already, as Edvin is the king of Peruvian snake-finders. But we were surprised that he had found such an interesting one.

It was obviously a coral snake, from its general appearance and twitchy behavior, but which species of coral snake was not so obvious. It didn't resemble anything in the Bartletts' Amazon herps field guide, nor anything in the various photo-grid PDFs of local herps that we had available to us. Our trip leader Matt Cage had never seen this snake personally, but thought that it looked like the snake he remembered from the cover of Campbell & Lamar's Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere. And indeed that's the species that it turned out to be. It's a particularly interesting coral snake because there are populations with a wide variety of different color patterns. Some of them are more like the traditional tricolored coral snakes, some look like this one, some are mostly black with thin white bands, etc. Matt considered this snake the best find of the trip.

Here is a complete list of the herps I saw in the wild on my 2014 MT Amazon Expeditions trip.

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