- Amber (Hypomelanistic + Caramel) have amber-colored markings on a light brown background.
- Plasma (Diffused + Lavender) Hatch out in varying shades of grayish-purple.
- Opal (Amelanistic + Lavender) look like blizzard corn snakes once mature with pink to purple highlights.
- Granite (Diffused + Anerythristic) tend to be varying shades of gray as adults, with males often having pink highlights.
- Fire (Amelanistic + Diffused) are an albino version of the diffused morph. These are typically very bright red snakes with very little pattern as adults.
The corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus) is a North American species of rat snake that subdues its small prey by constriction. It is found throughout the southeastern and central United States. Their docile nature, reluctance to bite, moderate adult size, attractive pattern, and comparatively simple care make them popular pet snakes. Though superficially resembling the venomous copperhead and often killed as a result of this mistaken identity, corn snakes are harmless and beneficial to humans. Corn snakes lackvenom and help control populations of wild rodent pests that damage crops and spread disease.
The corn snake is named for the species' regular presence near grain stores, where it preys on mice and rats that eat harvested corn. The Oxford English Dictionary cites this usage as far back as 1675. Some sources maintain that the corn snake is so-named because the distinctive, nearly-checkered pattern of the snake's belly scales resembles the kernels of variegated corn. Regardless of the name's origin, the corn reference can be a useful mnemonic for identifying corn snakes.
Adult corn snakes have a body length of 61–182 centimetres (2.00–5.97 ft). In the wild, they usually live around 6–8 years, but in captivity can live to an age of 23 years or more. They can be distinguished from Copperhead snakes by their brighter colors, slender build and lack of heat-sensing pits.
Until 2002, the corn snake was considered to have two subspecies: the nominate subspecies (Pantherophis guttatus guttatus) described here and the Great Plains rat snake (Pantherophis guttatus emoryi). The Great Plains rat snake has since been split off as its own species (Pantherophis emoryi), but is still occasionally treated as a subspecies of the corn snake by hobbyists.
It has been suggested that Pantherophis guttatus can be split into three species: Pantherophis guttatus,Pantherophis emoryi (corresponding with the subspecies Pantherophis guttatus emoryi) andPantherophis slowinskii (occurring in western Louisiana and adjacent Texas).
Pantherophis guttatus was previously placed in the genus Elaphe, but Elaphe was found to beparaphyletic by Utiger et al., leading to placement of this species in the genus Pantherophis. The placement of Pantherophis guttatus and several related species in Pantherophis rather than Elaphe has been confirmed by further phylogenetic studies. Many reference materials still use the synonymElaphe guttata. Molecular data has shown that corn snakes are actually more closely related to king snakes (genus Lampropeltis) than they are to the Old World rat snakes with which they were formerly classified. Corn snakes have even been bred in captivity with California king snakes to produce fertile hybrids known as "Jungle corn snakes".
Natural habitat :
Wild corn snakes prefer habitats such as overgrown fields, forest openings, trees, palmetto flatwoods and abandoned or seldom-used buildings and farms, from sea level to as high as 6,000 feet. Typically, these snakes remain on the ground until the age of 4 months old but can ascend trees, cliffs and other elevated surfaces. They can be found in the southeastern United States ranging from New Jersey to the Florida Keys and as far west as Texas.
In colder regions, snakes hibernate during winter. However, in the more temperate climate along the coast they shelter in rock crevices and logs during cold weather, and come out on warm days to soak up the heat of the sun. During cold weather, snakes are less active and therefore hunt less.
Corn snakes are relatively easy to breed. Although not necessary, they are usually put through a cooling (also known as brumation) period that takes 60–90 days. This is to get them ready for breeding and to tell them that its time to reproduce. Corns brumate at around 10 to 16 °C (50 to 61 °F) in a place where they can not be disturbed and with little sunlight.
Corn snakes usually breed shortly after the winter cooling. The male courts the female primarily with tactile and chemical cues, then everts one of his hemipenes, inserts it into the female, and ejaculates hissperm. If the female is ovulating, the eggs will be fertilized, and she will begin sequestering nutrients into the eggs, then secreting a shell.
Egg-laying occurs slightly more than a month after mating, with 12–24 eggs deposited into a warm, moist, hidden location. Once laid the adult snake abandons the eggs and does not return to them. The eggs are oblong with a leathery, flexible shell. Approximately 10 weeks after laying, the young snakes use a specialized scale called an egg tooth to slice slits in the egg shell, from which they emerge at about 5 inches in length.
Coluber guttatus Linnaeus, 1766
Elaphis guttatus— A.M.C. Duméril, Bibron &A.H.A. Duméril, 1854
Elaphe guttata— Stejneger & Barbour, 1917
Pantherophis guttatus— Utiger et al., 2002
A close up portrait
Like all snakes, corn snakes are carnivorous, and in the wild they will eat every few days. While most corn snakes will seek and consume small rodents, such as the White-footed Mouse, they may also be found eating reptiles or amphibians, or climbing trees in order to find unguarded bird eggs.
In captivity :
Corn snakes are one of the most popular types of snakes to keep in captivity or as pets. Their size, calm temperament, and ease of care contribute to this popularity. Captive corn snakes tolerate being handled by their owners, even for extended periods of time. A corn snake's space requirements are low since a medium-sized vivarium provides enough room for a full grown corn snake. Corn snakes enjoy hiding and burrowing which is usually accommodated with a loose substrate (such as Aspen wood shavings or newspaper) and one or more hide boxes. Captive corn snakes are generally fed pre-killed or stunnedfeeder mice. This is because captive-bred rodents reduce the risk of exposing the snake to pathogens or live prey-induced injuries.
Large gravid female
Adult corn snake
Baby corn snakes hatching from their eggs
Captive corn snake eating pinky mouse
After many generations of selective breeding, domesticated corn snakes are found in a wide variety of different colors and patterns. These result from recombining the dominant and recessive genes that code for proteins involved in chromatophore development, maintenance, or function. New variations, or morphs, become available every year as breeders gain a better understanding of the genetics involved.
Color morphs :
-Normal or wildtype corn snakes are orange with black lines around red colored saddle markings going down their back with black and white checkered bellies. Regional diversity is found in wild caught corn snakes, the most popular being the Miami and Okeetee phases. These are the most commonly seen corn snakes.
-Miami Phase (originates in the Florida wildtype) These are usually smaller corn snakes with some specimens having highly contrasting light silver to gray ground color with red or orange saddle markings surrounded in black. Selective breeding has lightened the ground color and darkened the saddle marks. The “Miami” name is now considered an appearance trait
-Okeetee corn snakes. These snakes are characterized by deep red dorsal saddle marks surrounded by very black borders on a bright orange ground color. As with the Miami phase, selective breeding has changed the term “Okeetee” to an appearance rather than a locality. Some on the market originate solely from selectively breeding corn snakes from the Okeetee Hunt Club.
-Candy-cane (selectively bred amelanistic) These are amelanistic corn snakes bred toward the ideal of red or orange saddle marks on a white background. Some were produced using light creamsicle (an amel hybrid from emory rat x corn ) bred with Miami phase corn snakes. Some candy canes will develop orange coloration around the neck region as they mature and many labeled as candycanes later develop significant amounts of yellow or orange in the ground color. The contrast they have as hatchlings often fades with maturity.
-Reverse Okeetee (selectively bred amelanistic) an amelanistic Okeetee corn snake which has the normal black rings around the saddle marks replaced with wide white rings. Ideal specimens are high contrast snakes with light orange to yellow background and dark orange/red saddles. Note: Albino Okeetees are not locale-specific okeetees—they are selectively bred amelanistics
-Fluorescent orange (selectively bred amelanistic) develop white borders around bright red saddle marks as adults on an orange background.
A docile young corn snake (an introduced species) captured from the wild on the island of Nevis, West Indies, in 2009.
-Sunglow (selectively bred amelanistic) another designer amelanistic corn that lacks the usual white speckling that often appears in most albinos, and selected for exceptionally bright ground color. The orange background surrounds dark orange saddle marks.
-Blood red (selectively bred “Diffused”) corn snakes carry a recessive trait (known as diffused) that eliminates the ventral checkered patterns. These originated from a somewhat unicolor Jacksonville and Gainesville, Florida strain of corn snake. Through selective breeding, an almost solid ground color has been produced. Hatchlings have a visible pattern that can fade as they mature into a solid orange red to ash red colored snake. The earlier bloodreds tended to have large clutches of smaller than average eggs that produce hard to feed offspring, though this is no longer the case.
-Crimson (hypomelanistic + Miami) are very light high contrast snakes with a light background and dark red/orange saddle marks.
-Anerythristic (anerythristic A, sometimes called "black albino") are the complement to amelanism. The inherited recessive mutation of lacking erythrin (red, yellow, and orange) pigments produces a snake that is mostly black, gray and brown. When mature, many type A anerythristic corn snakes develop yellow on their neck regions which is a result of the carotenoids in their diet.
-Charcoal snakes (sometimes known as anerythristic type ‘B’) can lack the yellow color pigment usually found in all corn snakes, They are a more muted contrast compared to Anerythristics.
-Caramel corn snakes are another Rich Zuchowski engineered corn snake. The background is varying shades of yellow to yellow-brown. Dorsal saddle marks vary from caramel yellow to brown, and chocolate brown.
-Lavender corn snakes contain a light pink background with darker purple gray markings. They also have ruby to burgundy colored eyes.
An anerythristic corn snake
-Cinder corns originated with Upper Keys corns and as such are often built slimmer than most other morphs. They may resemble anerythristics, but with wavy borders around their saddles.
-Kastanie This gene was first discovered in Germany. Kastanies hatch out looking nearly anerythristic but gain some color as they mature, to eventually take on a chestnut coloration.
-Hypomelanistic or Hypos for short carry a recessive trait that reduces the dark pigments causing the reds, whites, and oranges to become more vivid. Their eyes remain dark. These snakes range in appearance between amelanistic corn snakes to normals with greatly reduced melanin.
-Ultra Ultra is a hypomelanistic-like gene that is an allele to the amelanistic gene. Ultra corn snakes have light grey lines in place of black. The Ultra gene is derived from the grey rat snake. All Ultras and Ultramels have some amount of grey rat snake in them.
-Ultramel is an intermediate appearance between ultra and amel which is the result of being heterozygous for ultra and amel at the albino locus.
-Dilute is another melanin-reducing gene in which the snake looks as if it is getting ready to shed.
-Sunkissed is a hypo-like gene which was first found in Kathy Love’s colony.
-Lava is an extreme hypo-like gene which was discovered by Joe Pierce and named by Jeff Mohr. What would normally be black pigment in these is instead a grayish-purple.
There are tens of thousands of possible compound morphs. Some of the most popular are listed.
-Snow (Amelanistic + Anerythristic) As hatchlings this color variation is composed of white and pink blotches. These predominantly white snakes tend to have yellow neck and throat regions when mature (due to carotenoid retention in their diet). Light blotches and background colors have subtle shades of beige, ivory, pink, green, or yellow.
-Blizzard (Amelanistic + Charcoal). Blizzards are a totally white snake with red eyes and very little to no visible pattern.
-Ghost (Hypomelanistic + Anerythristic A) These exhibit varying shades of grays and browns on a lighter background. These often create pastel colors in lavenders, pinks, oranges, and tan.
-Phantom These are a combination of Charcoal and Hypomelanistic.
-Pewter (Charcoal + Diffused) are silvery lavender with very little pattern as adults.
-Butter (Amelanistic + Caramel) A two-tone yellow corn snake.
Pattern morphs :
-Motley a snake with a clear belly and an “inverted” spotting pattern. May also appear as stripes or dashes.
-Stripe this morph also has a clear belly and a striping pattern. Unlike the motley the stripes will not connect, but may sometimes break up and take on a “cubed” appearance. Cubes and spots on a striped corn are the same as the saddle color on a similar normal corn, unlike motley snakes. Stripe is both allelic and recessive to motley, so breeding a striped corn and a (homozygous) motley corn will result in all motley corn snakes, and breeding these (heterozygous) motley corn offspring will result in ¾ motley and ¼ striped corn snakes.
-Diffusion diffuses the patterning on the sides and eliminates the belly pattern. It is one component of the bloodred morph.
-Sunkissed while considered a hypo-like gene, sunkissed also has other effects such as rounded saddles and unusual head patterns.
-Aztec, zigzag and banded are selectively bred multigenetic morphs (that is not dependent on a single gene).
Amelanistic Stripe corn snake
3-Give your snake some hiding places: You should provide some places for you snake to hide in to feel secure. Try to provide a hiding place in the hot side for sure, others are optional. The hide should be placed in the warm area of the tank over the heat mat. Hides can be anything from shop-bought ones to Lego pieces. Be creative here but make sure you materials are non-toxic.
"Opal" phase corn snake
-Scaleless corn snakes are homozygous for a recessive mutation of the gene responsible for scale development. While not completely scaleless above, some do have less scales than others. However, all of them possess ventral (belly) scales. They can also be produced with any of the aforementioned color morphs. The first scaleless corns originated from the cross of another North American ratsnake species to a corn snake and are therefore technically hybrids. Scaleless mutants of many other snake species have also been documented in the wild.
Hybrids between corn snakes and any other snakes is very common within captivity and rarely occurs in the wild. Hybrids within the generaPantherophis, Lampropeltis, or Pituophis so far have been proven to be completely fertile. There are many different corn snake hybrids bred in captivity. A few common examples include:
Jungle corn snakes are hybrids using the corn snake and California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae). These show extreme pattern variations taking markings from both parents. Although they are hybrids of different genera, they are not sterile.
Tri Color Jungle corn snakes are a hybrid involving Querétaro Kingsnake and corn snake parents. The color is similar to that of an Amelanistic corn snake.
Creamsicle corn snake is a hybrid involving an albino corn snake and an Emory's Rat snake (Pantherophis emoryi). The first generation hybrids are known as "rootbeers". Breeding these back to each other can produce creamsicles, which are much more yellow-orange than the typical amel corn.
Turbo corn snakes are hybrids between a corn snake and any Pituophis species.
Corn snakes hybridized with milk snakes go by a variety of names, depending on the subspecies of milk snake it is. For example, a Honduran Milk Snake × Corn snake is called a Cornduran, a Sinaloan Milk Snake × Corn snake is called a Sinacorn, a Pueblan Milk Snake × Corn Snake is called a puebla corn.
Brook Korn is a hybrid between the Brook's king snake and a corn snake. Like the jungle corn, the hybrids show extreme pattern variations.
When hybrids of corn snakes are found in the wild they are usually hybridized with other Pantherophis species whose ranges overlap with corn snakes.
For Other and recommended websites .. ..
- Corn Snake Morphs : iansvivarium.com/morphs/
CORN SNAKES! Pet Reptiles with EvanTubeHD & AnimalBytesTV!
Corn Snake Collection 2013
2013 Reptile Expo + Pickups!!
How to Care for a Corn Snake
courtesy to : www.wikihow.com/Care-for-a-Corn-Snake
Corn snakes are highly recommended for any snake lover, because they make great pets for people of all ages. Native to the USA and Mexico, they are docile, hardy, attractive, and are easy to care for.
Part One : Setting up the Habitat
1- Get the right sized tank for your snake. Corn snake adults can get to be as big as 5 feet (1.4m) long. You may not need a 20 gallon (75.7 L) enclosure at start, but eventually you will. The enclosure can be either a tank or vivarium. When the snake is small, it is ok to start your pet off in a smaller tank such as a Living World Faunarium or similar product. For a large snake, the vivarium should be around 30–50 inches (76.2–127.0 cm) long but there's not real limit on size, just make sure it's big enough.
2-Give your corn snake enough heat. Provide a heat mat that covers about 1/3 of the tank floor to provide a proper heat gradient. The heat mat must be thermostatically controlled because they reach in excess of 250 degrees F (121 degrees C) which will severely burn the snake. Position the heat mat over one side to get that gradient. Temperatures should be about 75-85 degrees F, 23-29 degrees C, with the higher temperature on the warm area of the tank at one side.
Corn snakes are nocturnal and use the heat from the ground, not heat from the sun so heat lamps are not suitable. Hot rocks are never suitable for any pet as they provide a localized source of heat that is too hot. A cold snake may curl around it, seriously burning itself.
4- Cover your tank or vivarium with substrate. There are many, many different floor coverings commercially available for corn snakes but you best options are aspen chips and newspaper. Newspaper is the best as it is very absorbent and easy to replace. While practical, newspaper is not very aesthetically pleasing. If you want a decorative substrate, use aspen. Other good options are bark or cypress mulch. Do not use cedar shavings in a snake habitat as it is toxic to reptiles.
5-Never catch a wild corn snake. Corn snakes are becoming more and more easy to obtain, but that doesn't mean you should seek them out. Wild ones do not adjust well to captivity and have a low survival rate. Captive bred ones have been in captivity for many generations and have become very domesticated. Find a good breeder, either through a forum or other source. Pet shops are not good as you cannot be sure if the snake comes from a reputable source. Once you have your snake, leave it 5 days before feeding or handling it so it can settle in.
Part Two : Taking Care of Your Snake Day to Day
1- Give your snake enough water. You should provide a bowl of water for your snake, big enough for it to soak if it wishes. Change the water twice a week. The bowl can be on either the cool or warm side. Be aware that a bowl on the warm side will increase the humidity.
2- Provide adequate lighting. You do not need UV lights or calcium supplements like you do in other reptiles that eat insects. Snakes DO in fact use UV to synthesize vitamin D3 but in captivity they don't need it because they receive vitamin D3 from the mice They eat. They also get calcium too. Vitamin D is in the liver of mice and calcium is in the bones.
3- Do not keep a pair of corn snakes together. They are a solitary species. Keeping two snakes together can increase their stress. Corn snakes in captivity (especially hatchlings) have been known on occasion to eat one another, with both snakes involved dying. The only exception is a breeding pair. If you wish to breed, check that your female is 300g, 3 feet (0.9 m) long and 3 years old (333 rule) and consult a good book. Do not cohabit your breeding pair until you know that they and you are ready. Inbreeding is best avoided.
4- Feed your snake one mouse per week. Baby corn snakes are started on pinkie size mice and progress up the sizes of: pinkie mice, fuzzy mice, small mice (hoppers), medium mice (weaned), large mice (adult) and extra large (jumbo adult) as they grow.
- Here is a rough guide of what to feed a snake. Note that names vary regionally. The slashes in the size guide work like this: American English/British English.
Snake: 4-15g — Mouse: Pinkie;
Snake: 16-30g — Mouse: Pinkie x2;
Snake: 30-50g — Fuzzy;
Snake: 51-90g — Mouse: Hopper/Small;
Snake: 90-170g — Mouse: weaned/medium;
Snake: 170-400g — Mouse: Adult/large;
Snake: 400g+ — Mouse: jumbo adult/large.
It is best to feed your snake on frozen/thawed mice as they will not injure your snake and it's much more humane. You can also keep frozen mice for longer as they will not grow or die.
To feed, hold the prey item in the tweezers and wiggle it in front of your snake. It will strike and possibly constrict then swallow it's food whole. Do not feed on loose substrate as this can cause a fatal gut block if the substrate is digested. Feeding your snake out of it's tank is an easy solution to this and also it means that the snake does not associate feeding with its tank but be careful because if you handle your snake after a feed then it can regurgitate its meal so wait 48 hours before holding your snake again!
5- Keep your snake happy in its home. Snake droppings aren’t very big so cage cleaning doesn’t need to happen often. It will need to be cleaned about every 3 or so weeks but scoop out fresh excrement where possible. Feed your snake weekly and give it a change of scene once in a while and it will be happy in it’s new home.
Part Three : Handling and Shedding
1- Handle your snake with care. Pick your snake up by the middle of the body and support it with both hands. When holding your snake, hold it away from your face. Pet it in the way the scales go; they don't like it the other way around. Do not handle a snake after it’s eaten for 48 hours. Wash your hands before and after handling your snake. If it struggles, do not put it back but persevere or it will never learn to be friendly.
2- Know when snakes shed. When your snake’s eyes glass over it’s time for it to shed. Your snake should not be handled at this stage; as they may resort to self defense, wait until after the shed.
To aid in shedding, all you have to do is provide a moist hide. This is a plastic container either lined with moist paper towel or filled with damp moss. The container should have a lid and a hole cut out so they can go inside. Although the water dish should be on the cold side most of the time, you should put it on the hot side when your snake is in pre-shed. Mist 2-3 times daily in this time also.
After a few days, your snake's eyes will return to normal and a few days after that the shed will happen. You may want to measure and laminate the shed as a record.
Do not mess with your snake in the process of shedding it will make your snake stress out.
If there are ever any health problems with your corn snake go to a herpetological/exotic vet immediately.
Leave the snake alone during the process of shedding, the snake will be very irritable and will not hesitate to bite.
Buy a spray bottle to spray water into your snakes with when they're coming up to a shed. It will help increase the humidity.
Heat mats WILL rise to over 120°F. A thermostat is NEVER, NEVER optional! It is essential to the survival of your corn. Probed DIGITAL thermometers secured to the lowest surface of the tank/viv (ex: the bottom glass of an aquarium) are equally essential to provide accurate readings of the low and high end temps in your gradient. Newly hatched corn snakes should be fed every 4 to 5 days, not once a week. Look up the Munson plan for a good, if slightly too aggressive, feeding plan. Two hides, one for the hot side and one for the cool side of your enclosure, are the MINIMUM required, while more than 2 hides are preferable, as they provide security and peace of mind for a prey species like the corn snake. Definitely join a reputable forum, and lean on the advice and experience of those who have been keeping corn snakes for decades. You never know what you don't know, or when you'll need help or advice.
If your corn snake gets out check in all the small dark places - corns love being in tight spaces.
If your snake is breathing through it’s mouth or hanging upside-down by the wall, it may have respiratory problems!
Keep your snake away from other pets such as dogs so it won't become aggressive!
Some people will advise that feeding your corn snake more or more often will make it grow faster. While true, this will most likely cause your snake to die 25%-75% earlier.
When a snake vibrates it’s tail and positions itself in an 'S' shape, it is agitated and may strike.
If you can’t find your corn snake, look under the substrate. Corns are burrowers.
Be careful! Reptile bark can be lethal if ingested.
Do Not catch a corn snake from the wild.
Rest of the reptiles in my house11.13.09
American rat snake Part 1 .. .. Part 2 Asian rat snakeBoomslangCalifornia kingsnakeCoachwhipCommon kingsnake .. PART 1 .. Part 2 Corn snake .. part 1 Part 2Dwarf sand snakeEast African egg eaterEastern hognose snakeFalse water cobraGarter snakes Part One .. .. Part Two Gopher snakeJapanese rat snakeLeaf-nosed snakeMilk snake Part One Part Two Neotropical rat snakeNorthern cat-eyed snakePine snakeRacer Rough green snakeShovel-nosed snakeSri Lankan wolf snakeTiger snake Western hognose snake
American rat snake Part 1 Part 2 Asian rat snakeBoomslangCalifornia kingsnakeCoachwhipCommon kingsnake PART 1 Part 2 Corn snake part 1Part2Dwarf sand snakeEast African egg eaterEastern hognose snakeFalse water cobraGarter snakes Part One Part Two Gopher snakeJapanese rat snakeLeaf-nosed snakeMilk snake Part One Part Two Neotropical rat snakeNorthern cat-eyed snakePine snakeRacer Rough green snakeShovel-nosed snakeSri Lankan wolf snakeTiger snake Western hognose snake