All About the Striped Corn Snake: Characteristics, Care, and Breeding

Striped corn snake

Physical Characteristics of the Striped Corn Snake

The striped corn snake is a popular reptile pet known for its vibrant and colorful appearance. These snakes have unique patterns of stripes running along their bodies, giving them their distinctive name.

Their scales are smooth and glossy, adding to their overall beauty. The colors of the striped corn snake can vary widely, ranging from bright reds, oranges, and yellows to more subdued browns and blacks. This wide range of colors makes them a visually striking and attractive choice for snake enthusiasts.

The length of an adult striped corn snake can vary between three to five feet, with males typically being smaller than females. They have a slender body shape and their head is slightly triangular in shape, which is a characteristic feature of corn snakes.

Another interesting feature of the striped corn snake is its eyes. They have round pupils and a pupil shape that changes depending on light conditions. In bright light, their pupils restrict to small vertical slits, while in low light, their pupils dilate into large black circles.

In addition to their striking appearance, striped corn snakes are also known for their docile nature. They are relatively calm and can be easily handled, making them suitable pets for both beginners and experienced reptile enthusiasts.

Characteristic Description
Body Shape Slender
Scales Smooth and glossy
Colors Vibrant and varied
Length 3-5 feet (adults)
Head Shape Slightly triangular
Eyes Round pupils, adjustable shape
Nature Docile and easily handled

The Habitat and Natural Environment of the Striped Corn Snake

The striped corn snake has a slender body with smooth scales that give it a glossy appearance. These scales come in a variety of colors, including red, orange, yellow, and brown. The unique striped pattern on its body makes it easily distinguishable from other corn snake subspecies. This pattern consists of alternating dark and light bands running along the length of its body.


The striped corn snake is a pet reptile known for its colorful pattern and unique characteristics. It is native to the southeastern United States and is commonly found in a variety of habitats. This snake has a slender body with smooth scales and a striped pattern. In its natural environment, it is mainly active during the evening and night and feeds on small mammals, birds, and reptiles. When kept as a pet, a suitable terrarium with proper temperature and humidity levels should be provided.

Diet and Feeding Habits of the Striped Corn Snake

Feeding Schedule

Feeding Methods

When feeding a striped corn snake, it is recommended to use feeding tongs or forceps to present the prey item. This helps to avoid any accidental bites directed at the handler’s hand. The prey item should be warmed to approximately the snake’s body temperature, which encourages the snake to consume the food.

Water and Hydration

In addition to a proper diet, providing access to clean, fresh water is essential for the health and well-being of a striped corn snake. A shallow dish filled with fresh water should be available at all times within the terrarium. This allows the snake to drink as needed and also helps maintain humidity levels within the enclosure.

Health Care for Striped Corn Snakes

Diet: Striped corn snakes are carnivorous reptiles and their diet mainly consists of small rodents such as mice. It is essential to feed them a balanced diet that includes appropriate-sized prey. You should also ensure that the food is of good quality and free from any parasites or diseases.

Hydration: Like all snakes, striped corn snakes require access to fresh water at all times. Provide a shallow bowl of water in their enclosure that is big enough for them to soak and drink from. It is crucial to regularly clean and refill the water to maintain a hygienic environment.

Temperature and Humidity: Striped corn snakes are ectothermic creatures, which means they rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. Maintain a temperature gradient in their terrarium, with a warm and cool side, to allow them to thermoregulate. The temperature should range from 75-85°F (24-29°C) during the day and can drop slightly at night. Additionally, provide a humidity level of 40-50% to ensure proper shedding and respiratory health.

Veterinary Care: Regular health check-ups with a reptile veterinarian are essential for the well-being of your striped corn snake. A veterinarian can assess their overall health, provide necessary vaccinations or treatments, and address any concerns or issues you may have. Prevention is key, so make sure to stay up to date with vaccinations and follow the veterinarian’s advice for parasite control.

By paying attention to these aspects of health care, you can ensure that your striped corn snake stays vibrant and healthy throughout its life.

Enclosure Setup and Maintenance for Striped Corn Snakes

When keeping a striped corn snake as a pet, it is essential to provide them with a suitable enclosure that mimics their natural habitat. Creating an ideal environment will ensure the snake’s well-being, health, and comfort.


The first step is to choose an appropriate-sized terrarium for your striped corn snake. Ensure that the enclosure is large enough for the snake to move around and stretch out comfortably. A 20-gallon tank is recommended for adult corn snakes, while a smaller tank can be used for juveniles.


For the substrate, several options are available, such as aspen shavings, cypress mulch, or reptile carpet. Avoid using substrates that can cause harm if accidentally ingested, such as sand or small particles. The substrate should be easily cleanable and provide a natural-looking environment for the snake.

Temperature and Lighting

Corn snakes are ectothermic, which means they rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. Provide a temperature gradient in the enclosure, with a warm side and a cooler side. The warm side should have a temperature range of 85-90°F (29-32°C), while the cooler side should be around 75-80°F (24-27°C). Use an under-tank heating pad or a heat lamp to achieve the desired temperatures.

Additionally, provide your striped corn snake with a UVB light source to ensure proper Vitamin D3 synthesis, which is essential for calcium absorption and overall health. Place the light on top of the enclosure, but make sure it is not within direct reach of the snake.

Hide Boxes and Decor

Snakes love to hide, so it is crucial to provide multiple hide boxes for your corn snake. Place at least two hide boxes–one on the warm side and one on the cooler side of the enclosure. These boxes can be made from various materials such as wood, plastic, or reptile hides.

In addition to hide boxes, you can also include various decorations like branches, rocks, and artificial plants to create a more natural and attractive habitat for your striped corn snake. However, make sure the decorations are securely placed and cannot cause any harm or injury to the snake.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Regular cleaning is essential to maintain a healthy and hygienic environment for your striped corn snake. Spot clean the enclosure daily, removing any feces, shed skin, or leftover food. A monthly deep cleaning is also recommended, where you remove all the substrate, clean the enclosure, and replace it with fresh substrate. Disinfect any hides, branches, or décor that are reusable.

Breeding and Reproduction of Striped Corn Snakes

Mating and Courtship

When introducing the male and female snakes, it is essential to closely monitor their behavior. Male corn snakes often exhibit courtship behavior, such as tongue flicking, chasing, and rubbing against the female. If the female is receptive, she will reciprocate by flicking her tongue and raising her tail, indicating her readiness to mate.

Egg Laying and Incubation

After successful mating, the female striped corn snake will lay a clutch of eggs. A suitable egg-laying area, such as a nesting box filled with moistened sphagnum moss, should be provided in the enclosure. The female may lay anywhere from 10 to 30 eggs, depending on factors such as age and health.

After an incubation period of approximately 60 to 70 days, the baby corn snakes will begin to hatch. It is crucial to provide a suitable and secure environment for the newborn snakes, such as small individual enclosures with appropriate heating and hiding spots. Feed the hatchlings a diet of appropriately sized mouse pinkies or fuzzies to ensure their proper growth and development.

Caring for Hatchlings

Selling or Keeping Hatchlings

Once the hatchlings have reached an appropriate size and are thriving, they can be sold or kept as pets. If you decide to sell the hatchlings, make sure to find responsible and knowledgeable homes for them. Provide potential buyers with information on the care and requirements of striped corn snakes to ensure that the snakes will be well taken care of in their new homes.

Alternatively, if you choose to keep the hatchlings, be prepared to provide long-term care and commitment to their well-being. Striped corn snakes can live up to 20 years in captivity, so it is essential to have the necessary knowledge and resources to meet their needs throughout their lifespan.