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Common Names in English:
Scarletsnake, Florida Scarlet Snake, Northern Scarlet Snake, Scarlet Snake, Texas Scarlet Snake
Common Names in German:
The family Colubridae, which includes the kingsnakes (Lampropeltis spp. ), is the largest, most widespread, and diverse family of snakes , with few physical characteristics universal among all species. The family contains 70 percent of the known species of snakes, with more than 1700 species worldwide (Pough et al. 1998). Although some colubrids are dangerously venomous , most are harmless to humans. 
Species Cemophora coccinea
Scarlet Snakes are 14 to 30 in. (36-76 cm) long, with a pointed snout.
Scarlet snakes are found in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont of North Carolina but are generally rare in the Piedmont. They generally inhabit Oak and Pine forests with loose , sandy soil. Scarlet snakes are generally nocturnal and are seldom encountered above ground in the day.
Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 310 meters (0 to 1,017 feet).
This secretive, semi-fossorial snake
, mixed, or
pine forest/woodland and adjacent
open areas with sandy or loamy
well-drained soils (Behler and King 1979, Trauth et al.
2004). Specific habitats
include pine flatwoods, dry or dry prairie,
prairie, maritime hardwood hammock, bottomland
canals in sawgrass prairies, borders
and ploughed fields
, abandoned fields, and roadsides (Tennant
1984, 1997; Werler and Dixon 2000). Individuals are sometimes found
under rocks or in or under logs
are laid under moist humus
(Minton 1972) or in other underground sites..
List of Habitats:
- 1 Forest
- 1.4 Forest - Temperate
- 4 Grassland
- 4.4 Grassland - Temperate [more info]
Scarlet snakes feed primarily on reptile eggs but they also eat small snakes, and lizards and insects.
Scarlet snakes lay 3 to 8 elongated eggs during June.
This snake is rarely encountered because it is nocturnal and spends a great deal of time underground.
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Grobben, 1908
- (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Bateson, 1885
- Cuvier, 1812
- Jawed Vertebrates
- Goodrich, 1930
- Superorder: Lepidosauria () -
- Infraclass: Lepidosauromorpha ()
- Subclass: Diapsida ()
- Superclass: Tetrapoda () - Goodrich, 1930
- Infraphylum: Gnathostomata () - auct. - Jawed Vertebrates
- Subphylum: Vertebrata () - Cuvier, 1812 - Vertebrates
- Phylum: Chordata () - Bateson, 1885 - Chordates
- Infrakingdom: Chordonia () - (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Branch: Deuterostomia () - Grobben, 1908
- Subkingdom: Bilateria () - (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Kingdom: Animalia () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - animals
Cemophora coccinea — Allen 1932 • Cemophora coccinea — Conant & Collins 1991: 213 • Cemophora coccinea — Crother 2000: 57 • Coluber coccineus Blumenbach 1788: 10 • Rhinostoma coccineus Holbrook 1842: 125 • Simotes coccineus DumÉril Bibron & DumÉril 1854: 637
Status: Accepted Name
The subspecies Cemophora cocchinae lineri was proposed as a distinct species by Collins (1991), but he did not present supporting data . This proposal has not been adopted by other authorities, including Collins and Taggart (2002). Crother et al. (2000) suggested that further study of variation in this species, particularly on both sides of the Mississippi embayment , likely would result in "considerable taxonomic change"..
Like the similar scarlet kingsnake, the scarlet snake's coloration is thought to mimic the venomous Coral Snake. However, while coral snakes have black-yellow-red, bands, scarlet and scarlet kingsnakes have red-black yellow, hence the well-known rhyme: "red-on-black, venom lack, red-on-yellow, kill a fellow". Scarlet snakes have smooth scales and a while belly, unlike scarlet kingsnakes whose bands continue completely around their body.
Members of the genus Cemophora
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 4 species and subspecies in this genus:
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Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 27, 2008:
- Carnegie Museums: Amphibians and Reptiles
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- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2537467
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Rep-9424
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 2494459
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 174195
- IUCN ID: 198427
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: ARADB03010
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 165477
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- Mean = 26.170 meters (85.860 feet), Standard Deviation = 171.330 based on 12 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
- Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Cemophora coccinea. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 January 2012. [back]