Corn Snake


ORDER: Squamata

FAMILY: Colubridae

GENUS: Elaphe

SPECIES: guttata guttata

DESCRIPTION:
A pattern of blotches (saddles) which may be red, gray, or brown edged in black against a background color that may be orange, red, tan, or gray are a few of the more common variations in color. Averages three feet long with a maximum length of six feet.

GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
Southern New Jersey through Florida and west to Louisiana. Equally at home climbing or on the ground, and may be found in the open or in woods. Found in trash piles and abandoned buildings.

DIET:
Rodents, bats, lizards and small birds. A constrictor.

LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
Secretive and nocturnal. Mature at two to three years of age. Corn snakes typically mate from March to May, lay eggs in June or July, and hatch in August or September. After mating, it takes about 40 days for fertilized eggs to be laid, and another 60 days for hatching. As many as 20 eggs may be laid. Life span from 12 to 25 years.

SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS:
Corn snakes are probably the easiest and most suitable snakes to keep in captivity since they are gentle, but not shy and retiring. They are also hardy and breed well in captivity.

INTERPRETIVE INFORMATION:
American snakes of the genus Elaphe are known as "rat snakes" because of their diet.

OUR ANIMALS:
1 Male. He is used in our Education and Zoomobile programs and is not viewable by the public.

STATUS IN WILD:
Not endangered.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  1. Mehrtens, John. 1987. Living Snakes of the World. Sterling Publishing, Co, New York, p. 84.
  2. Stazco, Ray and Walls, Jerry. 1994. Rat Snakes. T. F.H. Publications, Neptune City, NJ.
  3. Stidworthy, John. 1971. Snakes of the World, Grosset & Dunlap, Inc. New York, p. 69.

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