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Corn Snake Elaphe guttata


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Corn Snake
credit: Factumquintus

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Family: Colubridae, Colubrid Snakes view all from this family

Description Long. Orange/brown with red/brown/olive black edged blotches down back. Rows of blotches either side. Square marks on belly. Scales keeled in 27-29 rows. Divided anal plate.

Dimensions 61-182.9cm. (24-72")

Warning When cornered, a Corn Snake may vibrate its tail like a rattlesnake and strike with impressive speed. Its bite is not venomous. It is sometimes confused with the venomous Copperhead, which has a narrow neck and a large triangular head that is plain and unmarked. In contrast, the Corn Snake's head is not noticeably wider than its neck, and there is a marking on the top of the head, often shaped like a spearhead.

Subspecies Corn Snake - Reddish/orange/yellow with reddish/orange blotches. New jersey to Florida.
Great Plains Rat Snake - Gray/olive/brown, darker blotches. Louisiana, Illinois, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico to Mexico.

Breeding Breeds March-May. 3-21 eggs in a clutch, laid May-July. Hatch in July-September, 25-38cm (10-15") long. Mature after 1.5-3 years.

Habitat Rocky hillsides, meadowlands, watercourses, springs and abandoned houses.

Range New Jersey to Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Mexico, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, Illinois, Utah and Colorado.

Discussion "Corn Snake" is a holdover from the days when southern farmers stored harvested ears of corn in a wood frame or log building called a crib. Rats and mice came to the corn crib to feed on the corn, and Corn Snakes came to feed on the rodents. Nocturnal. Mice, rats, birds and bats are in main diet. Longevity in captivity was 21 3/4 years. Docile nature, reluctance to bite.