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Corn Snake

Updated on December 1, 2009
Corn Snake
Corn Snake

Corn Snakes

What is a corn snake

The corn snake is a North American species of rat snake that subdue their small prey with constriction. It is a non-venomous snake. In colder regions, these snakes hibernate while in areas with moderate temperature they are less active during the cold weather.


It is also called the red rat snake. The more famous name i.e. the corn snake comes from the fact that these snakes were found in the corn fields and they have a maize-like pattern on their bellies. The term corn snake is being used for these snakes at least since 1676 as it is cited in the Oxford English Dictionary.


These snakes belong to the order Squamata. Their family is Colubridae. Their scientific name is Elaphe guttata.

Distribution of Corn Snake

Corn snakes are found throughout the south-eastern and central United States.

Diet of Corn Snake

They don't feed every day, instead they feed every few days. Corn Snakes have a diet primarily consisting of rodents, mostly mice and rats, which they kill via constriction. They are proficient climbers and may scale trees in search of birds and bats. It hunts its prey by squeezing it tightly and thus suffocating it to death. Their young feed on lizards and tree frogs. In captivity they are normally fed on rats, mice and chicks.

Life Span

Corn Snakes normally live for 15-20 years in the wild, while they are known to live as long as 23 years in captivity.


I didn't mention their size when I originally wrote this hub, then as per reminder of my friend rb11, here it is. The adult corn snakes normally attain a length of 3 to 5 feet but can sometimes become as long as 6 feet. Adult corn snakes seldom exceed 1 kg in weight.

Interesting Facts

The incubation temperature for their eggs determine the sex of their young hatchlings.

They can be differentiated from the King snakes by their belly. They have a flat belly as compared to the rounded belly of the King snake.


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    • profile image

      5 years ago

      i love snakes

    • profile image

      Ana 6 years ago

      I have a beautifull Corn snake named Marlin. He lives with us over a year and exceed 4 feet lenth, but he is only 2 years old. I feed him once a week (1 jumbo mouce per week). For the year he changed his skin 5 times. Is it OK for the corn snakes? If they supposed to be 5-6 feet, but mine is alredy 4' and keep growing.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      I use to capture snakes when I was young. Study them a while and let them go. I was careful with the dangerous ones. God Bless You.

    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 8 years ago

      That is great Brett. Tell me when you buy it.

    • profile image

      brett 8 years ago

      i have owned many snakes...all being grey rats, except 1 yellow rat...but rat snakes are very good pets and i am soon getting a red rat snake (corn snake)

    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 8 years ago

      Andy that's great that you own these two beautiful snakes.

      Dohn, I have never touched a Corn snake. I wish I had.

      And these non-poisonous snakes can sometimes get very dangerous as they are constrictors and can cause death by coiling around someone. Thanx for stopping by and commenting Dohn.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      To the chagrin of many girls, a snake-guy (caretaker) came to my elementary school one day with about three or so snakes. All of course were harmless and non-poisonous. I believe the three snakes were a Gardner, Corn, and a Boa. The only one I touched was the Corn snake, which felt exactly like a buttered corn on the cob! Thanks UH.

    • profile image

      AndyH 8 years ago

      That is a beautiful little Amelanistic Corn Snake in the picture. :)

      I personally own a Miami corn and a Ball Python.

      Snakes are great!

    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 8 years ago

      Its always safe to back away for one's own safety.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 8 years ago from West By God

      I also give them respect--lots of room that is. If I see one I will back away and wait until it slithers off. I saw a black snake in our woods once as I was coming up from the ravine beside our house. It looked different then the branches that were around the area. I must have walked away and around it some 20 feet. I have not been down that way since.

    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 8 years ago

      Its awesome garym that you have been a proud owner of some really good snakes.

    • garym75 profile image

      garym75 8 years ago from jacksonville,fl

      snakes are beautiful creatures that should be respected and admired,NOT KILLED!i have owned many snakes from corn snakes to pythons,and just like with dogs its the owner that makes a bad snake.

    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 8 years ago

      Finally we have a reader who is not scared of snakes MUCH. COOL!

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      It is a very pretty snake. Snakes don't scare me as much as spiders do :)

    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 8 years ago

      Most people are Ethel, but they are lovely creatures.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I am somewhat terrified of snakes lol

    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 8 years ago

      rb11, adult corn snakes reach a size of 3-5 feet and occasionally reach 6 feet in length.

      I better add this to my hub too. Thanx for asking.

    • rb11 profile image

      rb11 8 years ago from Las Vegas

      This is a rather colorful snake, I can't tell from the picture there weight or size, what is the average?