Cornsnakes

 

 

 

Geographical Region

North America:  Arizona, Carolina and Florida.

 

Habitat

Semi arid areas, dislike humidity and like to burrow.

 

Colour

Various colour morphs are now available, including Anery, Amel, Snow, Candy Cane, Butter and many more.  Scaleless cornsnakes are now being bred and are available to buy from a limited number of breeders (including SWG).  Ask in store for more information.

 

Size

Adult males rarely reach over 4ft, while females grow a little longer.

 

Captive Environment

36"l x 15"d x 15"h for a single snake

36"l x 18"d x 18"h for an adult pair, although it's usually better to go larger if possible, as this allows more room to move and thermoregulate (control body temperature).

Dry substrate like Aspen bedding or hemp bedding is preferred as this allows for a more naturalistic burrowing behaviour.  Provide a few hides at each end of the vivarium as well as a water bowl at the cooler end. Branches and plastic plants are added extras but are not essential. If the height allows, add some cork bark shelves to make a more interesting enclosure for the snake(s) to explore.  It may be a good idea to provide a 'moss box' which is a plastic tub with a lid that has a snake-sized hole cut out, filled with some damp sphagnum moss.  This allows a slightly humid area for the snake to go in to when it is trying to shed.

 

Heating/lighting requirements

Corns require an ambient temperature between 26 - 29°C (78 - 84°F).  All warmth should be situated at one end of the vivarium with a high powered heat mat mounted on the ceiling of a wooden vivarium and a light bulb of 25watts maximum providing light. It is essential that the vivarium temperature has a gradient from warm to cooler to allow thermoregulation. Corn snakes are mostly nocturnal and do not require ultraviolet lighting. Turn heating and lighting off at night to allow for a naturalistic night time temperature drop. Always use a thermometer to check the temperatures at the warm and cooler ends. In some cases, (especially over the cooler, winter months), it may be recommended to provide heat over night. Staff can advise on ways to do this if it is necessary. It may also be the case that your Cornsnake doesn’t require much additional heating during warmer, summer months. Again, staff can advise on this.  If your cornsnake is eating regularly it is ok to assume the temperatures are correct for your snake.  Please discuss any odd or unusual behaviour with a member of staff.

 

Photoperiod

Autumn/winter – 10 hours light – 14 hours dark.

Spring/summer – 12 hours light – 12 hours dark.

 

Feeding

Hatchlings are sold feeding on defrosted pink mice, 1 every 5-7 days.

As the snake grows the prey item should increase in size - ask us for advice. We will provide you with the correct foodsize at the time you purchase your snake.

 

Sexing

Males have a longer, more slender tail that tapers gradually from a wide base. Females have a shorter

tail that tapers more abruptly from a thinner base. It should be noted that visually sexing snakes is not an accurate method.

Cornsnakes can be kept singularly, two females together or a male and female together. Keeping two males is not generally recommended because during the breeding season there can be a lot of frustration shown through body flicking and thrashing about in the enclosure (they do not physically fight as with male lizards).

Regardless of size and sex, all snakes must always be separated for feeding.

 

Shedding

Snakes periodically shed their skin. Their colouration tends to become dull at this time (milky looking), their eyes become cloudy and their eyesight poor. They usually go off their food, too. Keep handling to a minimum during this time. Placing a 'moss box' in their enclosure can be beneficial during this time (see above).

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