Coral snakes are a large group of elapid snakes that can be subdivided into two distinct groups, Old World coral snakes and New World coral snakes. There are 16 species of Old World coral snake in three genera (Calliophis, Hemibungarus, and Sinomicrurus), and over 65 recognized species of New World coral snakes in two genera (Micruroides and Micrurus). Genetic studies have found that the most basal lineages are Asian, indicating that the group originated in the Old World.
North American coloration patterns
Experts now recognize that coloration patterns and common mnemonics which people use to identify the deadly coral snake are occasionally inconsistent. While any North American snake exhibiting the coral snake's color banding pattern will almost certainly in fact be a coral snake (with one exception), there are coral snakes in other parts of the world which are colored differently.
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