Corn Snake (Elaphe guttata) Care Sheet

Corn snakes are great first time pets, they’re easy to care for, tame down easily, and have many different colors and patterns.  Corn snakes are found from New Jersey, south to Florida, and west into Tennessee and the surrounding states.  Corns are small to medium sized snakes usually reaching 4-6 feet.  These snakes are long lived and one can expect your snake to live 15-25 years in captivity.  Corns snakes are easy to breed and can lay 5-50 eggs in clutch one or two times a year.

Corn snakes need to be maintained between 84-88 degrees during the day.  Nighttime temperatures should range between 70-75 degrees.  If you keep your snake too cool it can regurgitate, so make sure the temperatures are maintained.  Red or dark colored heat lights are ideal for night use because they do not disturb the day and night cycle of snakes.


     Corn snakes can be housed comfortably in a 29-40 gallon terrarium as adults.  Ideally the larger the snake the more room you want to provide.  Never place a cage near a window where sunlight can directly shine on your cage.  Cages placed in direct sunlight can easily overheat and ultimately lead to the death of your snake. 


Almost any type of bedding can be used for corn snakes.  We recommend using carpet, bark, pine shavings, or aspen shavings.  A deep layer is recommended to allow your snake to hide if it chooses to do so.  


Corn snakes feed on pinkie and fuzzy mice as babies and juveniles.  As your snake grows it will soon move up to adult mice.  We recommend that you feed baby and juvenile corn snakes one time per week.  Adult corn snakes can be fed once every 7-10 days to maintain proper body weight.   Like most snakes, corn snakes typically will not eat when they are preparing to shed.  After your snake has shed you can return to your normal feeding regiment.  If your snake doesn’t eat make sure you remove the rodent from the cage.  Rodents, when hungry, can bite snakes and possibly injure or kill your snake.