Some of the most beautiful snakes are Corn Snakes!
An excellent pet for the advanced beginner, the colorful Corn Snake will tame down in a short time. They become very docile, even tempered, and tolerant of frequent handling. Corn Snakes are very hardy and easy to maintain.
For more Information on keeping Snakes see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Herptile
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Reptilia
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Colubridae
- Genus: Elaphe
- Species: guttata
The Corn Snake will grow to a good size, between three and five feet. They can reach up six feet in the wild. They are a heavier bodied snake than the garter snake or the kingsnake, though their length is about the same. Their natural color is dark red blotches outlined in black on a deep orange background, with a black and white checkerboard pattern on the belly. Their scales are lightly keeled.
They are a constrictor and their diet consists of mice and other rodents, chicks, and lizards. Feed once or twice a week, depending on the size of the food and the size of the snake. As you get to know your snake, you’ll learn what its feeding needs are. Fresh water in a shallow dish should always be available.
They do not eat other snakes, and so they can be housed alone or in groups with other snakes of similar size and habits.
You can set up their terrarium as either a woodland type, a desert type, or a combination of the two and you provide moderate humidity. See the terrarium types described under Basic Reptile and Amphibian Care for more information.
This snake needs a hiding place and a small water dish. It also likes to climb, so a vertical or semi-vertical tree limb with some plant vining is great.
Temperature and Lighting requirements:
They do well at 75° to 85° F in the daytime, and 65° to 72° F at night. Full spectrum lighting is important for your snakes well being and its long-term maintenance. You can use a substrate heating device for basic heating. For additional heat, you can add a full spectrum incandescent daytime bulb and a blacklight bulb or red incandescent bulb for nighttime heating. Be sure you use a thermometer so you don’t let the terrarium become overheated!
For more detailed information see the Basic Reptile and Amphibian Care: Housing.
These snakes, if not babies, need to be probe sexed for positive sex identification, and they are egg layers. They breed readily in captivity and are reproduced in many color variations.
Featured Image Credit: Frauke Feind, Pixabay