Corn snake – Pantherophis guttatus (Elaphe guttata)

Corn snakes are among the most popular of all pet snakes and also for an excellent reason. Their exceptionally variable and gorgeous colors and patterns, lull of care and breeding, and generally docile dispositions have actually earned corn snakes your rightful, premier ar in herpetoculture. The dimension of maturation corn line is simply right: big and hardy sufficient to accept continuous handling, yet not huge enough to intimidate a novice or child. Easy to breed and also care for with an endless array of hereditary traits, corn snakes market something for the newest snakekeeper, yet they also an obstacle those with years that experience.

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Corn snake Availability

Corn snakes are readily obtainable at pet shops, reptile expos, virtual reptile shops and directly indigenous breeders. Back wild-caught specimens normally adapt together pets, captive-bred corn snake are very recommended because of the beautiful color and also pattern shape available; the greater likelihood of gaining a healthy, parasite-free snake; and also the details about age, history and parentage that may accompany them.


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Photo Credit: bill Love

Blood red corn snake.


Corn snake Size

Corn snakes hatch at 8 come 12 inch long, and most ultimately reach 4 to 5.5 feet in length.


Corn line Life Span

With appropriate care, a corn snake could live at least into its latter teens, and also it might well live right into its 20s. Castle are frequently reproductive till 10 to 12 years of age and sometimes longer.

Corn snake Caging

Baby corn snakes can quickly live in a plastic vivarium the dimension of a large shoebox because that the an initial several months of your lives. Adult corn snakes require a cage at least the size of a 20-gallon long reptile terrarium, yet bigger is also better. Snakes room not social animals, therefore cagemates are rather stressful. Home only one corn line to a cage. All snakes space escape artists, therefore make sure the cage is absolutely escape proof. Line habitat products like climb branches may be appreciated, yet a couple of dark, tight reptile hides are vital to aid the snake feel secure.

Corn line Lighting and Temperature

No special lighting is required, however natural light from adjacent windows will assist your corn snake readjust its day and night cycles, and its seasonal cycles. Be mindful to avoid direct sunlight shining right into the cage, or the temperatures can quickly end up being lethal.

Provide a temperature gradient through a light, or undertank heat pad or cable. On the warm finish 85 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect, and room temperatures (low 70s) space fine for the cool end. One long, thin hide, such together a hollow log or PVC pipe, have the right to be put so one finish of the hide is cool and one finish is warm. Be certain to examine the temperature within the warm finish of the hide — no on the glass. Temperatures have the right to vary fairly a bit within just a few inches, therefore thermometer and also hide box placement is important.


Misting the enclosure often causes fungus and also mold. If the corn snake sheds the skin in pieces, boost humidity within the hide crate by including a clump of damp moss or file towel at any time the line prepares come shed. Eliminate this damp filler in between sheds to protect against buildup of bacteria, mold, etc.

Corn line Substrate

Most breeders usage aspen shavings together bedding because it is absorbent, soft and also holds its shape when snakes burrow. Cypress mulch also works, yet avoid fragrant woods such together pine or cedar. Newspaper and reptile carpet likewise suffice, yet the corn snake has tendency to get under it whenever possible. Stop sand due to the fact that it may cause impactions if ingested.

Corn snake Food

The primary natural food of corn snakes is appropriately sized rodents. Some baby corn snakes additionally eat lizards or an sometimes frog. Adult corn snakes may eat bird or their eggs. Execute not sell crickets due to the fact that corn snakes don’t recognize them as food.

Hatchlings normally eat newborn mice. Boost to a jumbo computer mouse for a large adult corn snake. Many corn snakes learn to eat formerly frozen, but completely thawed out, mice. Be prepared to market a live newborn computer mouse to baby corn snakes emphasize by a brand-new home or not offered to thawed mouse yet. It typically won’t take many times come train castle to take thawed mice. Placing your corn snake and a thawed mouse in an north container with a few air holes and also closing the lid will aid the snake concentrate on the food, and also encourage it to eat. Be certain the lid is top top tightly, and also don’t placed it close to a heat source, or you danger overheating the snake. Cuts made into the skin of a thawed computer mouse ensure much faster and much more complete digestion. Feed baby corn snakes once every five to 7 days, and also feed adult corn snakes when every seven to 10 days.


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Photo Credit: bill Love

Okeetee corn snake.


Corn line Water

Fresh water should always be easily accessible in a shallow, hefty reptile water bowl. Clean out the bowl every couple of days or sooner if it is soiled. Location the bowl in a cage corner so it have the right to be easily found as the snake cruises the cage perimeter in ~ night.

Corn snake Handling and also Temperament

Hatchling corn line are naturally nervous and defensive. Fearless babies to be eaten conveniently long back and never passed their gene onto future generations. Although that is normal for baby corn snakes to flee, hide or safeguard themselves, that is additionally true that they have actually no real ability to harm you. A white computer mouse or a cat that plays too about with the owner can do far an ext damage than even the largest corn snake.

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It is crucial to give a brand-new corn snake a few weeks come settle into its new home and into a constant feeding routine prior to stressing it through unnecessary handling. After three or four successful meals, start handling your corn line for quick periods, except for the an initial two to three days ~ a meal. Be sure to strategy the corn snake from the side fairly than the top like a predator would do. Background it increase gently however with confidence. Skepticism scares the corn snake, and makes it likely to hide or bite. If needed, usage lightweight cotton gloves to bolster confidence because that as long as needed. As soon as the corn snake begins to realize the you are not going come eat it, and likewise that it demands to calm down to regain the protection of that is quiet cage, the will normally tame quickly and become really used to handling.