Corn Snake (AKA Red Rat Snake) Many color and pattern morphs available in the pet trade. Where are they found? In the US, Pine barrens of southern New Jersey, south to Florida and west to Louisiana. Corn Snake Female's tail is shorter, male's tail is longer. There are different morphed patterns. Dorsal oval shapes (motley), linear stripes, irregularly conjoined dorsal stripes (zig-zag), Okeetee (richly colored blotches with black borders).
What preparations need to be made in captivity? Sexually mature in two years. Introduce male and female after the first shed after brumation. They will copulate until about three weeks before laying eggs. Separate, feed females several meals before you put them back together after eggs are laid. Both may not want to eat during this time.
Corn Snake Normal clutch size is about 5-15 eggs. Larger females lay more eggs. Second clutches are usually smaller. Transfer eggs to an incubator or box in a warm herp room. Eggs should be kept at 80-90° F and kept moist. Eggs will still hatch at cooler room temperatures, but will take longer. Put holes in the lid of the box. Don't move eggs or separate eggs that are stuck together. Eggs that are not viable may grow fungus, but it won't hurt the good eggs.
Natural Habitat: Sandy pine woods, especially trash piles and abandoned buildings.
Size: Hatchlings 9-14", adults up to 5 ft.
Life Expectancy: ± 20 years
Color: Most are orange, red and black, but there are many color morphs. Red/orange color is called erythrin, graybrown (melanin) combine in a saddle-like pattern of patches with black border. Black albino (anerythristic), red albino (amelanistic), white albino (snow) are also available.
Diet in the wild: Rodents, birds and eggs.
Predators/Enemies: Birds of prey, humans.
Do they make good pets? Excellent. Great for a first time snake owner. They are inexpensive, feed well, have a great temperament and come in attractive colors.
Housing: Aquarium or cage with a tight-fitting screened lid. 24L x 24H x 18D is adequate, but 30L x 24H x 18D would allow the animal to be comfortable through adulthood.
Temperature: 75-85° F day, 65-75° F at night. Use a heating pad (or heat tape) under tank under where the hide box is located for heat. We do not recommend using heat rocks.
Humidity: Usually not a problem, but if it gets too dry they may have shedding problems and will soak in their water bowl.
Lighting: Incandescent, shine onto basking area. About 14 hours light, 10 hours dark.