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Corn Snakes. The
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Corn snakes may get their name from the maize corn patterns that adorn their slender bodies. Or perhaps the name stems from the snakeís habit of visiting cornfields or grain stores in search of mice. No matter what the origin of the name is, the corn snakeís dazzling colors and intricate patterns make them popular in the pet trade. In fact, the first corn snakes many people ever see are at pet shops or reptile shows. A variety of "cultivated" forms, including "albino corns," "Okeetee corns," and "creamsicle corns," are available because corn snakes have been bred in captivity for the last two decades. But chances are that none of these cultivars can compare to the beautiful serpent that is probably living wild in the woods near your house. The prettiest corn snakes Iíve ever seen were wild individuals in their natural habitat
Is It A Corn Or A Rat!?
Corn and Rat snakes both belong to the genus Elaphe; Corns belong to the species Elaphe guttata; many of the rat snakes are subspecies of Elaphe obsoleta. For a full list of the Elaphe species, see the EMBL Database: Colubridae: Elaphe.
The corn snake is native to the woodlands and rocky hillsides of Central America up to North Mexico. It normally grows between 3 and 5 feet.
They are quite placid snakes and will become tame with regular handling. They are an ideal first snake.
Corn snakes make an excellent first snake because of their manageable size and they have an unusually mild manner. There seems to be a rainbow of colors available, with new morphs being introduced each year. The reasonable prices of Corn snakes also adds to their popularity. But now that you have one --how should you set him up?
General appearance: Corn snakes are a slender snake with black bordered, irregular red or rust colored dorsal blotches. Background color can range from brilliant orange to silvery gray. The belly is white with a black checkerboard pattern. The body scales are smooth to weakly keeled and the sub-caudal scales are divided.
*Note - because of the trend to strive for odd color and pattern morphs in captivity, many strains of captive produced corn snakes vary in appearance from the above described traits. For example, blood red corns lack the checkerboard ventral pattern and striped corns possess dorsal stripes instead of blotches.
Rating: 1 ó Due to this animals good nature, feeding habits, adult size, and availability as domestically bred stock it is an excellent starter snake.
Diet: Hatchlings and juveniles - pink/ fuzzy mice, hopper mice, and pink/fuzzy rats every 4-7 days; Adults - large rodents such as rats every 9-14 days.
This North American Rat Snake is probably by far the most commonly kept and propagated species of snake in the world, no other snake can compare to the Corn, its availability in pattern and color morphs combined with its placid nature make it by far the first choice for anyone beginning with reptiles. Speak to anybody who keeps snakes and you will probably find they first started with Corns, many of the largest breeders in the world learned the foundations of their hobby through the keeping of this species.
Corn snakes (Elaphe guttata guttata) are one of the most available snakes in the pet trade today. Vast numbers of corn snakes are captive bred annually, and are justifiably one of the most popular snakes of all time. Corn snakes are relatively small, rarely exceeding five feet in length, active feeders, tolerate a wide variety of environmental conditions, come in a dazzling arry of color morphs, and are very easy to breed. All of these factors combined make the corn snake an excellent choice for both the beginning and advanced reptile hobbyist.
I've been interested in herps (reptiles & amphibians, collectively) since early childhood. I grew up absorbed with all wildlife, including early fascinations with horses, cats & dogs. Being a veterinarian was the first career I ever dreamed of obtaining. I learned about herps through TV, visiting the local Milwaukee Zoo and Museum of Natural History, and through books.
This article will explain how we do it, using methods we've developed at VMS over the last twenty-plus years. Some articles may differ from the methodology presented here, and some may view it as overly simplified.
My name is Gregg. I collect, breed, and sell certain types of North American and Asian rat snake as a hobby. Because it is a hobby, I have in my collection only those types, or morphs, of corn and rat snake that I like. That is to say, if I don't have a morph, it's probably because I'm not fond of that morph. It may also be that I'm not aware of that morph.
After several decades of captive breeding, and in particular selective breeding the humble cornsnake is now available in many different and beautiful colour and pattern morphs. This page is a guide to the most popular of these morphs, and is continuously growing. Click here for an introduction to corn snake genetics, including a brief explaination of how different morphs are achieved.
Keeping snakes has been an interest of mine for some years now and these pages are just a few words about how I got started in snake keeping and what an easy to keep pet snakes are compared with many other pets. Hopefully some of this will be useful information for anyone thinking about buying their first snake.
This website is here to help all corn snake owners, beginner and advanced. Please, look through the pages (listed on the left of the screen) to see if you can answer questions like "My snake won't eat, what do I do?" or "How do I keep a corn snake healthy?". If you don't know where to begin, go to the NEW Frequently Asked Questions page, and it will direct you to your answers.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Elaphe guttata
Description: A medium-sized to rather large snake attaining a maximum length of about 72 inches. Corn snakes have black-bordered red or dark orange blotches that run down the middle of the back, on a reddish orange or brownish orange background color.
Corn snakes, also known as red rat snakes, are a large, powerful, and non-venomous constrictor in the genus Elaphe. The species in this genus, along with the genus Bogertophis and Senticolis, are known as rat snakes. All the species in these taxa are medium to very large size Colubrids that feed on rodents and other small prey. The Colubrid family contains over 2,000 species worldwide, and is sometimes referred to as the "typical snake."
Choosing a Corn Snake
Corn snakes (Elaphe guttata) make an excellent choice as a pet snake. Pet corn snakes are generally docile, relatively easy to care for, and do not get too large. They are excellent escape artists, however, so care must be taken when planning their housing.
The 2006 Cornsnake Morph Guide is available now. The Guide is now 108 pages (twice the size of the original "Buyer's Guide") and loaded with color photos. It contains discussions and descriptions of over 70 morphs, an explanation of the way different morphs are created/reproduced, and has an easy-to-follow genetics section which illustrates the basics behind the genetic morphs.
On this site there are many things, including a care sheet on cornsnakes, which is very helpful to the beginner. There is also a page that describes and shows pictures of all of the major color variations of a cornsnake. Check out the link on how to get a non-feeding snake to eat! There is also a link page for my favorite cornsnake or herp websites. Enjoy!
We have many other species documented in
similar fashion which are listed on our home page, in the 8. Links - Species Specificsection.