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Malaysian Blue Coral Snake Fact File

Appearance

The beautiful coloration of the Malaysian blue coral snake is intended as a warning to others of its potential danger. This species can inflict a quick acting venom to quickly bring down prey.


On its head, tail and in stripes on the underside the Malaysian blue coral snake is colored red. Its namesake blue color is found in a pair of dorsal stripes running down either side of the body. The rest of the back is colored dark blue or black.


Adults may reach lengths up to 1.8m (6ft) long.


Often, especially as a juveniles this species has been confused with the pink-headed reed snake.

Diet

The Malaysian blue coral snake has specialized to live off of a diet of other snakes including venomous species such as juveniles king cobras. Other species eaten include lizards, birds and frogs.


To achieve this feat safely they have a unique venom dubbed the ‘killer’s killer by scientists. It acts to make all of the nerves fire at once which instantly paralyzes the prey making them to easy to eat.

malaysian blue coral snake

Scientific Name

Calliophis bivirgatus

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Length

1.8m (6ft)

Lifespan

1 years

Diet

Carnivorous

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Range

Asia is the native home of the Malaysian blue coral snake. Here they can be found in Malaysia as their name suggests along with Brunei Darussalam; Indonesia; Singapore and Thailand.

Habitat

These animals can be found in primary and secondary lowland rainforests.

Reproduction

Few recordings of the breeding behavior of the Malaysian blue coral snake exist. It is known that they lay one to three eggs.

Behavior

Blue Malaysian coral snakes are primarily active during the day. They will emerge around mid-morning.

malaysian blue coral snake

Predators and Threats

Habitat loss has significantly reduced the range of populations of the Malaysian blue coral snake.

In most instances the blue Malaysian coral snake will flee if disturbed but on occasion they will sit with the tail erect and waved around.

Quick facts

This species of snake is sometimes called the ‘100-pace snake.’ This is a reference to the distance a human is said to be able to travel before succumbing to the venom of this species.


Malaysian blue coral snakes posses the longest venom gland of any snake species. It may extend out to more than a quarter of their body length.

The unique venom of the Malaysian blue coral snake is being studied as it may provide methods of managing chronic pain in humans.

Photo Credits

Top

By Seshadri.K.S – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39118637

Bottom

By LinasD – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25342259

References

Burnie, D., 2011. Animal. 3rd ed. London: DK

Bouchard, A. 2021. Blue Coral Snakes Have Venom Unlike Any Other Snake | Plants And Animals. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 March 2021].

Hrala, J., 2021. The Venom From This Beautiful Snake Will Murder You Horribly. [online] ScienceAlert. Available at: <https://www.sciencealert.com/these-beautiful-snakes-hunt-cobras-with-unique-venom-that-might-someday-help-us-relieve-pain> [Accessed 28 March 2021].

Ecologyasia.com. 2021. Blue Malayan Coral Snake – Calliophis bivirgatus. [online] Available at: <https://www.ecologyasia.com/verts/snakes/blue_malayan_coral_snake.htm> [Accessed 28 March 2021].

Thai National Parks. 2021. Calliophis bivirgatus, Blue Malaysian coral snake. [online] Available at: <https://www.thainationalparks.com/species/calliophis-bivirgatus> [Accessed 29 March 2021].

Teo, A. 2021. Calliophis bivirgatus – Malayan Blue Coral Snake – Taxo4254 – Wiki.nus. [online] Available at: <https://wiki.nus.edu.sg/display/TAX/Calliophis+bivirgatus+-+Malayan+Blue+Coral+Snake> [Accessed 29 March 2021].

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