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Corn Snake Care

Corn Snake Care

Corn Snake (Pantherophis guttatus)

also called Red Rat Snake

Related subspecies: The Great Plains Rat Snake or Emory’s Rat Snake (Pantherophis guttatus emoryi) is found from Nebraska to Texas, and into northern Mexico.

Popularity: Make good house pets.

Origin: Southeastern and central United States from sea level to as high as 6,000 feet

Native habitat: Forests, farmlands, overgrown fields, forest openings, trees, abandoned buildings, and farms. They normally remain on the ground, but will ascend trees, cliffs, and other elevated surfaces.

Size: 3-4 feet

Lifespan: 10-15 years

Appearance: Brownish-orange skin with orange-red saddles bordered in black, and usually a black and white underbelly. There are dozens of morphed colors and designs ranging from opal to bright orange and candy cane colors to stripes.

Diet: Bats, birds, lizards, rodents.

Activities: Corn Snakes are skillful climbers and may scale trees in search of birds and bats. The kill their prey by constricting them.

Misc characteristics: Corn Snakes hibernate in areas with cold winters. In more temperate climates, they shelter in rock crevices and logs during that time and come out on warm days to soak up the heat of the sun. During those months, they are less active and hunt less.



Young Corn Snakes should start out in a 10-gallon aquarium tank, but adults need a tank that’s at least 30 gallons or more. Branches should be provided to allow the snake to exercise by climbing. Tanks need good ventilation and have a very secure lid to prevent escapes.

Furnishings and Substrate

Two hide boxes are recommended, one in a warmer area and one in a cooler area of the tank. Paper, reptile bark, or aspen bedding are recommended for substrate. Keep in mind that Corn Snakes like to burrow, so make it deep enough for them to do so.

Heat and Humidity

Humidity is not a concern for the reptile. One area of the tank should be 85 degrees F. and another 75 degrees. The snake needs a basking area at about 90 degrees.


Corn snakes are nocturnal and do not require any special lighting.


Corn Snakes are hearty eaters. They will eat thawed frozen feeder rodents. Hatchlings eat young pinkie mice and adults eat large mice and small rats. Feed babies one food item every 5-7 days, and adults one or two items once every week or 10 days.

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