ISSN 2398-2985  

Corn snake


Synonym(s): Pantherophis guttatus


Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia. 
  • Phylum: Chordata. 
  • Class: Reptilia. 
  • Order: Squamata. 
  • Suborder: Serpentes. 
  • Family: Colubridae. 
  • Genus: Pantherophis
  • Species: guttatus.

Distribution and habitat

  • Native to Eastern and Southeastern USA.
  • Reports have been made of them being introduced to more tropical countries such as the Bahamas, Virgin Islands and Caman Islands amongst others.
  • Usually found in overgrown fields, forest openings, trees, farms and urban buildings. 
  • In the hotter months, they will shelter in rock gaps and logs. 

Species status

  • Listed as of least concern by the IUCN. 
  • Threats include habitat destruction and being mistaken for venomous copperheads, and so are killed. 

Life span

  • In captivity: 15-20+ years. 


  • Carnivorous. 
  • In the wild, they will eat around 2 times per week Snake nutrition
  • Main diet consists of small rodents and sometimes small reptiles. 


  • Due to selective breeding, many different color morphs and pattern morphs exist (see Colors, patterns and markings below). 


  • Mating usually takes place just after the winter cooling; they must go into brumation to aid them in the breeding season Hibernation.
  • They usually breed in the spring Snake reproduction.
  • Corn snakes will usually lay their eggs around a month or so post-mating.
  • Females lay clutches of 7-20 eggs at a time, sometimes more. 
  • Eggs incubate for around 9 weeks. 
  • Hybrids between corn snakes and any other snake is very common in both captivity and in the wild.

As pets

  • One of the most popular types of snake in the pet trade. 
  • This is due to their calm temperament and easy levels of care required, however it is always advised to research the species before purchasing.
  • They are also fairly small for handling. 

Predatory behavior


Biological Data

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • RSPCA (2018) Corn Snake. Website: Last accessed 17th April 2018. 
  • Reptiles Magazine (2017) Snake Health 101. Website: Last accessed 17th April 2018. 
  • Echternacht S & Hammerson G A (2016) Pantherophis guttatus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Website: Last accessed 15th June 2018.
  • Reptiles Magazine (2014) Corn Snake Care Sheet. Website: Last accessed 17th April 2018.
  • Pollock C (2012) Corn Snakes (Pantherophis guttatus guttatus or Elaphe guttata). Website: Last accessed 15th June 2018.
  • Love K & Love B (2010) New, Cutting-Edge Corn Snake Morphs. Website: Last accessed 15th June 2018.
  • Love K. How to Breed The Popular Corn Snake. Website: Last accessed 15th June 2018.
  • Virginia Herpetological Society. Red Cornsnake Pantherophis guttatus. Available: Last accessed 15th June 2018.



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