The corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus) is a North American snake species found across the southeastern and central United States, from southern New Jersey south through Florida and west to Louisiana and portions of Kentucky.
The species has also been released on several islands of the Caribbean, with several established populations currently found in Grand Cayman, the US Virgin Islands and in the Bahamas.
The corn snake preceding classification placed it at the genus Elaphe, it had been recently changed to Pantherophis. Some studies have demonstrated they are actually more closely associated with sea snakes (genus Lampropeltis) than the Old World rat snakes with which they were previously categorized. It was considered to have 2 subspecies before 2002 after the Great Plains rat snake had been split off as its own species
They’re mainly a semi-fossorial species found in a wide array of dryer to more humid habitats. The corn snake can be found in structures like wooded groves, rugged hillsides, overgrown fields, pine forest, meadowlands, grasslands, forest openings, grass flatwoods, palmetto flatwoods,tropical hammocks,
They are also found near human-modified environments in barns and left or seldom-used buildings. These snakes favor lower altitudes but are available anywhere from sea level up to 6,000 feet (1800 m).
Corn snakes are primarily active at night and are equally terrestrial burrowers and extremely excellent climbers. In regions of the range, they hibernate during winter. But in the temperate climate along the coast, they come out on warmer days to bask and take refuge in logs and rock spots during colder weather.
There are 2 theories to explain why the species common name, pine snake. In one is said that the name derives from the majority of the gut markers to the pattern of kernels of corn.
The other relies on the snake’s regular presence near grain shops, hunting mice, and rats that ate the chosen corn. Like several snake species found in the United States that the corn snake is referred to as the snake snake.
These are slim non-venomous snakes using a length ranging from 24 to 72 inches (60 to 180 cm), with males being larger than females.Their base color is usually a brown to red-orange, speckled with many big red blotches with black edges their backs. Their colors may also incorporate yellowish and gray and differ from region to region. They have a black and white checkered gut.
In captivity, breeders are producing a huge variety of colour patterns, called morphs, varying in color from white to black, black and patterns that include stripes, spots or strong coloring.
They’ve been bred in captivity with other snake species like the California kingsnake to make hybrids known from the pet industry since”Jungle corn snakes”. In an odd manner, these hybrids are fertile.
They have very few all-natural predators which consist mostly of snakes, birds of prey and at times parasitic mammals. Corn snakes will be, eaten by the snake species, such as the southern kingsnake and racers. Their lifespan is up to 23 years in captivity but is much less around 6 to 8 years, from the wild.
Adult corn bees feed on larger prey items like rats, rodents, birds, birds and bird’s eggs while the young hatchlings feed mainly on lizards and frogs.
The corn snake feeds every couple of days, and now being constrictors they first bite the prey to acquire a firm grip, then immediately wrap around the sufferer. They squeeze tightly to suffocate the prey and swallow it whole, usually head .
The corn snake breeding season of occurs from March to May. The snakes may participate in a kind of body-shoving competitions, when more or 2 meet at the presence of a receptive female.
All these are oviparous snakes, so the female deposits a clutch of 10 to 30 eggs throughout the summer in late May to July. The eggs are laid with sufficient humidity and heat in locations to incubate them piles of decaying plant or comparable places, such as stumps.
Adults do not take care of the eggs, and after laid their gestation period is around 60 to 70 days. The eggs will hatch in July through September when the hatchlings utilizing a technical scale known as an”egg tooth” slice the shell and escape.
The young snakes are born 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) long and reach maturity at 18 to 36 months old. They’re patterned like girls but their blotches are much darker, from brown to black on a light-orange or grey entire body.
The corn snake isn’t regarded as an endangered species, however they are listed as a Species of Special Concern by the state of Florida, due to habitat loss and devastation in the lower Florida Keys.
But despite habitat devastation representing a hazard in some regions, the corn snake is slightly conducive to a habitat change.
The corn snake is often mistaken for the venomous Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and murdered out of fear. The species would be the most often eaten pet snake and are sometimes recorded in the wild to be marketed as pets.
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