Southern / Eastern USA, northern Mexico
Hatchlings are approx 12″, fully grown between 3 and 5 feet
Corn Snakes come in an amazing variety of colours, ranging from brown and grey, to bright red and orange, to pure white.
A fully grown corn snake will require a 30 gallon tank as a minimum, but not so big that the snake feels insecure. Housing snakes together is not recommended. A secure lid (preferably lockable) is a must as corn snakes are masters of escape. If there is the slightest gap or if the lid is not secure, your snake will push against it until the gap is big enough to fit through (where the head fits, the body will follow!)
Suitable substrate can be newspaper or paper towels (not very attractive, but easily and cheaply changed), Astroturf (keep two pieces, and swap them around so you can have one piece in the tank while the other piece is being cleaned and dried), or reptile bark purchased from a pet shop (soiled bark is easily removed, and replaced with clean). If you choose to use reptile bark, you should remove your snake for feeding, or feed on a sheet of paper to ensure that no chippings are ingested. Under NO circumstances should pine or cedar wood be used, as this give off fumes that are extremely toxic to your snake!
A hiding place should be provided at both the warm side and the cool side, for your corn snake to feel secure inside. This can be anything you can lay your hands on (e.g. cardboard boxes, or a purchased hide box from the pet shop), so long as your snake has a way in and out, and can fit its entire body inside.
A daytime temperature gradient of 70°F – 85°F (21°C – 30°C) should be provided, with night time temperatures a little lower, using an under tank heat mat. All heat sources should be controlled by a thermostat to prevent overheating or burns. A thermometer should be placed on top of the substrate at each end of the tank, which should be regularly checked.
UVA/B lighting is not required for corn snakes as they are primarily nocturnal, preferring to come out at dusk, even though they can be seen during daylight hours.
Hatchlings should be started off on dead pinkie mice once every week, the food size increasing as your snake grows. As a general rule, the food item should not be more than the width of the widest part of the snake. If anything is regurgitated, remove immediately and leave your snake alone to rest and recover for at least a full week before offering food again. They will often refuse or sometimes regurgitate food while they are shedding, during breeding season, if the temperature is too low, or if you haven’t provided a hiding place. If corns are regularly overfed they will become fat and unhealthy which can cause stress, and will shorten its lifespan.
Clean fresh water should be provided, as corn snakes drink often. They will also sometimes ‘take a bath’ in it too, to aid cooling or shedding.