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Corn Snake (Elaphe guttata guttata) Zoology

 

Note: Make sure to read the General Zoology page before reading this section!

| Introduction & Description | Classification | History | Distribution | Natural Habitat | Natural Diet | Books | Related Topics | References & Further Reading |
| Email This Page | Corn Snake Care Sheet |

Corn Snake Introduction & Discription:

Although it might be difficult to imagine, Corn snakes once flourished, and probably still do, as wild snakes in nature. Although there might be different theories of where the name originated from, their bright colouration, docile temperament and hardiness gave them a place as probably the most popular pet snake in the world today.

The wild ground colour varies from orangish to gray, depending on the origin, with well defined, large roundish rust-orange to red, black edged dorsal and lateral saddles. The ventral side of these snakes are a check board-like with black and white blocks. In the pet trade different colour and pattern variations are available. The head is triangular and easy distinguishable from the rest of the body. Each specimen has a unique spear pointed or "fleur-de-lis" marking and can be used as informal identification.

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Corn Snake Classification:

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Subphylum
Vertebrata
Class
Reptilia
Order
Squamata
Suborder
Serpentes
Family
Colubridae
Genus
Elaphe
Species
guttata
Subspecies
guttata
   


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Corn Snake History:

One theory relating to how Corns got their name comes from the early European settlers. They frequently found these snakes in their corn/maize fields and corn cribs. It is also said that they were first found in the corn storage structures of the early Indians. In fact, Corns were, and remain, very helpful to farmers as they help keep down the natural wild rodent populations.

Another theory is that the colours resembles the multi-coloured kernels of Indian corn grown by the Cherokees and other Indian tribes of the south-eastern United States.

Corns, together with Rat snakes belong to the species Elaphe guttata. In Latin Elaphe means deerskin and guttata means speckled or spotted. Both these terms apply to Corn and Rat snakes. The skin of these snakes feels like finely tanned deerskin, while the patterns on some of the species' back create spots or speckles.

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Corn Snake (Elaphe guttata guttata) Distribution MapCorn Snake Distribution Map:

Corns range from the New Jersey pine barrens to the tip of the Florida keys and as far west as Kentucky and eastern Louisiana.

Released or escaped captive kept specimens might now be naturally found in warmer areas right around the world.

Corn Snake Natural Habitat:

Deciduous forests, pine barrens/woodlands and rocky hillsides. As with most snake species they will probably also flourish in more urbanised areas such as barnyards, under rubble and on edges of agricultural fields.

Corn Snake Natural Diet:

Elaphes feed on everything including fish, frogs, lizards, rodents and mammals. In nature Corns start off by feeding on small invertebrates like crickets, moving up to rodents. Hatchlings feed largely on small lizards and tree frogs while adults feed on small rodents and birds. In nature Corns will often attain their largest sizes when and where rodents are plentiful. Corn snakes kill their prey by constriction.

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Corn Snake Related Books:

Shop at Kalahari.net
Buy Books from Kalahari.net

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"If you did not understand something or thought that I left a few things out, read the General Zoology page. If you think I should add more information to this section or think that something is incorrect, contact me and let me know. I would love to hear your ideas or methods you might use that is different than ours."

Last updated 24 May 2008 by Renier Delport

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"Always remember only to buy healthy animals from reputable pet shops and breeders. Make sure to buy animals that are captive bred in your own country and that it is not illegally imported or caught from the wild."

"If you've read something funny, or heard something that sounds out of place, use your common sense before applying. It is extremely important to do research from more than one source (before buying or accepting a new animal). Browse other internet pages, read related magazines and talk to experienced people."

Related Topics:

General Zoology
General Snake Care Sheet
Corn Snake Care Sheet
Photoperiod & Brumation / Hibernation
Feeding Problems

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Referenes & Further Reading:

Bartlett, R.D. The 25 Best Reptile And Amphibian Pets. Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Bartlett, R.D. & Bartlett, Patricia P., 2002 Designer Reptiles & Amphibians. Barron's Educational Series U.S.

Bartlett, Patricia P. & Griswold, Billy, 2001 Reptiles, Amphibians & Invertebrates - An Identification & Care Guide. Barron's Educational Series U.S.

Miller, Stephan A. & Harley, John B., 1999 Zoology, Fourth Edition, WCB McGraw-Hill.

Mattison, Chris, 1998 Keeping & Breeding Snakes, Second Edition. Blandford.

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| Introduction & Description | Classification | History | Distribution | Natural Habitat | Natural Diet | Books | Related Topics | References & Further Reading |
| Email This Page | Corn Snake Care Sheet |

 

 

 

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